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Chalet site is major income blow for Lyme Regis Town Council
LANDSLIPS and the demolition of chalets at Monmouth Beach and Ware Cliff have caused a major blow to the town council’s income.
An extraordinary meeting of the council has been called on Wednesday night when members will hear that £35,111 income will be lost in the next financial year.
Councillors are considering the implications of land movement over the last three months and the financial impact on the authority.
In his report, deputy town clerk John Wright has confirmed that 11 sites have been lost so far at a cost of £18,770.
He said: “If we work on the assumption that we receive no income from a further 10 chalets on Monmouth Beach and sites 38-41 Ware Cliff next year, the total income loss for 2013-14 is £35,111.”
A total of seven chalets have been demolished and the sites of four chalets – 47 and 48 Ware Cliff and 22 and 23 Monmouth Beach – are to be decommissioned.
Mr Wright said: “Impact damage on chalets 22 and 23 Monmouth Beach has progressively accelerated and these chalets are no longer safe for occupation.
“Consequently, site licences cannot be issued.
“The extent of earth movement renders these sites unusable for the foreseeable future.”
Mr Wright said out of 13 chalets on Monmouth Beach, only three have been issued with new site licences.
“However, there’s one further complication – the water supply,” he said.
“The existing run incorporates the former sites at 47 and 48 Ware Cliff and the water supply to these locations needs to be isolated.
“In addition, earth movement at the rear of chalets 31 to 34 may have disrupted the water supply run.
“Consequently, site licences to these chalets shouldn’t be issue until water supply issues are understood and the appropriate action is taken.”
Three other chalets will not be given licences until more investigation work is done.
Mr Wright said: “There is also evidence of the impact of land movement on the perimeter walls of chalets 24, 25 and 26.
“Until we have a clearer view on whether this is likely to continue, site licences should not be issued to these chalet owners.”
The access road to Monmouth Beach, which was closed off last month, has been re-opened but the area in front of chalets 22 to 26 remains sealed off.
The deputy town clerk said talks have started with West Dorset District Council because the town council’s planning permission for the site is due to be renewed on July 1, but measures including drainage and moving chalets will need to be considered.
Councillors will now look at ways to generate more income for the council to offset the £35,000 loss.
Coun Anita Williams said: “I think we need a working group about how we could look at getting more income, what we might improve, just try and maximise our assets better.”
Mr Wright will bring a report to the March 27 full council meeting suggesting options to compensate for the loss.
Parking and amenities income
THE town council’s income from parking and amenities is also drastically down year on year.
Parking at Woodmead and Cabanya, parking penalties, mini golf, table tennis and the putting green generated almost £298,000 for the council from January 2012 to 2013 – down £44,000 on the previous year.
It is feared the town council’s car parks will suffer even further when West Dorset District Council introduces new machines in its town car parks giving customers more ways to pay.
Town and district councillor George Symonds said: “Will people go where they can pay with the easiest means?”