District Council wants communuity input on future of colonnade in Sutton on Sea

East Lindsey District Council has confirmed a consultation process will take place, beginning January 2019 on the Colonnade and Pleasure Gardens in Sutton on Sea.
East Lindsey District Council has confirmed a consultation process will take place, beginning January 2019 on the Colonnade and Pleasure Gardens in Sutton on Sea.

East Lindsey District Council is happy to talk to residents and beach hut owners about the future of Sutton on Sea’s colonnade.

A structural survey has raised doubts about the future of the colonnade, parts of which have already been closed off to the public.

The survey - commissioned by ELDC amid safety fears - was published this month.

Earlier this year, lumps of concrete fell off the colonnade which is a key part of the resort’s busy seafront.

The survey revealed the deterioration of the colonnade - built after extensive coastal flooding in 1953 - was due to age and the original design and not a lack of maintenance, which some residents and beach hut owners had claimed.

ELDC stress programme of regular repairs and monitoring has been carried out.

Residents voiced their concerns about the future of the colonnade - and the beach huts which ‘sit’ on top of the structure - during a meeting of Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea Town Council on Monday evening.

Residents spoke during a public forum at the start of the meeting and stressed how important the colonnade is to the resort.

They said they were worried about its future.

District councillor Helen Matthews, who also attended the meeting, said she was talking to colleagues and was attempting to secure funding to safeguard the colonnade’s future.

She said: “It is very emotional. We all love Sutton on Sea and the colonnade, but we need the funding now for the future.

“I am doing a lot of talking with the portfolio holder, but sadly there isn’t an immediate fix. This will take some time.”

Town councillors also discussed the future of the colonnade.

They agreed they would work with the local community and form a ‘Task and Finish Group’ to explore ideas and draw up recommendations to ELDC.

Coun Colin Matthews said he didn’t see the current situation as ‘a blow’ - but as an ‘opportunity’.

He said: “The colonnade does need to come down - it’s not safe.

“There’s an opportunity to get something exciting there, and help bring the resort into the 21st century - and get something better.”

His comments were supported by Coun Tony Howard who added: “It would be a waste of money to try and bodge the colonnade as it is at this point.

“Getting a group together will help come to the right decision to put forward to East Lindsey.”

James Gilbert, ELDC’s Growth and Promotions Service Manager, told the Leader the condition of the colonnade was worse than the authority first thought.

He said: “Following the full survey findings, we have taken immediate action on the colonnade and boarded it up and put up steel props to stablise the structure.

“We appreciate the concerns of residents and owners and are happy to speak to them at any time.

“As a council, we are very open to finding out what the public want regarding the colonnade, and come up with the best solution.”

Mr Gilbert confirmed there would ‘definitely’ be a public consultation announced soon.