VICTORIAN charm is set to return to St Annes seafront in a move tourism bosses hope will help drive the town towards classic resort status.
Dozens of colourful beach huts will take pride of place along the Promenade after Fylde Council’s planning committee finally gave the ambitious plans the go-ahead.
The huts will be erected and managed by husband and wife team Stuart and Zoe Robertson, and Coun Sue Fazackerley, cabinet member for tourism, hopes they will take St Annes Promenade back to its tourism heyday.
Coun Fazackerley said: “I see the beach huts as a vital part of the drive to restore St Annes to classic resort status and they will be a boost to tourism and regeneration of the area.”
And Arnold Sumner, the town’s chamber of trade co-ordinator, has welcomed the arrival of a brand new business in the town.
He said: “The chamber of trade is backing them all the way.
“We always encourage new business to come into the town and every seaside resort should have beach huts wherever possible.
“The beach huts will enhance the Promenade and it will be a wonderful picture.”
The huts, which will have electricity but no running water, will be built in three groups of 15 close to the pier, the miniature golf course and alongside the boating lake.
Mr Robertson – who plans to retail the huts for between £20,000 and £40,000 – hopes to have them up in time for this summer’s Open Golf tournament, although building timescales are yet to be confirmed.
There had been fears the huts would only be allowed temporarily, but at a meeting on Wednesday, councillors decided full planning permission would be more appropriate.
However, concerns were raised about the potential for vandalism – echoed by Paul Rollings from the Holiday Association of Lytham St Annes (HALSA).
He said: “I wish them luck but I’m apprehensive. If it’s done right it will be a good addition as long as they are utilised and kept in good order.”
The land the beach huts will be built on is owned by the council, and will be used by the Robertsons under licence.