The Milford on Sea beach huts are complete and ready for the summer.
Knights Brown’s works to replace 119 beach huts and improve the seafront at Milford on Sea has been completed for New Forest District Council.
The original 1960s terraced concrete beach huts were damaged beyond repair in a storm on Valentine’s Day 2014. The replacement beach huts have been built in the same location along the top of the beach but occupy a slightly smaller footprint, which has improved the view of the Isle of Wight. Comprising four terraces, the huts are constructed of concrete and set back into the upper promenade to reduce their exposure to the elements. Access to the beach has been improved with larger gaps between the terraces and the promenade in front of the huts has been widened, improving access along the lower promenade.
Along the tops of the beach huts a walkway has been created with bridges connecting each terrace, enabling people to walk the full length and enjoy views of the Solent from an elevated position. Steps up to the rooftop walkway from the rear upper promenade double up as seating for visitors.
At the western end of the site a galvanised steel ramp curves around the World War II pillbox and access for wheelchair users and pushchairs enabled with the installation of concrete ramps to both promenades.
The pre-cast concrete sections that form the body of the huts have been designed to withstand the worst anticipated conditions such as those experienced during the Valentine’s Day storm. Concrete front panels that feature coastal-inspired designs including pebbles, Keyhaven River and the Needles, soften the overall look while coastal defences have been improved with the addition of a new sea wall to the rear of the huts.
The design and construction team included structural engineers Ramboll UK Ltd who led the design development of the scheme with assistance from Totton-based Snug architects.
Knights Brown began construction in September 2016 and completed the build on schedule. Divisional Director Kevin Valentine said: “It has been a pleasure to work with New Forest District Council and all the partners on this project, which is so significant to the local area. Our team has worked diligently to deliver the scheme in time for the summer season and fully in line with expectations. I know we are all proud of the end result and hope the community and visitors alike will enjoy the new facilities”.
£1.26m was allocated in 2014 for the like for like replacement of 119 beach huts. After the expansion of the scheme to include improvements to the public areas around the huts, the total investment amounted to £2.36million, including £430,000 contributed by the beach hut owners.