Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Findhorn beach huts battle is over

Artist's impression of the huts on North Beach, Findhorn
Artist's impression of the huts on North Beach, Findhorn

Campaigners have lost a legal battle against plans to build a row of beach huts along a stretch of Moray coast.

Villagers in Findhorn were left bitterly disappointed last night after the Court of Session paved the way for Inverness-based A1 Architects to build the seafront shelters.

Moray Council originally approved proposals for 30 multicoloured huts on the dunes at Findhorn’s north beach, despite huge local opposition.

Outraged residents later raised £20,000 to cover legal fees and mounted a court challenge to the local authority’s decision.

They hoped a judge would order the council to revoke planning permission.

During a four-hour hearing, Lord Armstrong heard arguments from QCs acting on behalf of the council, 1 Architects, and objectors.

And in his ruling he said: “There was evidence of anticipated benefits arising from the proposed development under consideration, in the form of enhancement of the area as a tourist destination with associated beneficial impact on the local economy.

“I find that Moray Council did not err in law.”

Campaigner Christine Hunt said the beach huts, which will be sited along 324ft of beach, would be “a travesty” for the beauty spot.

And she added that her fellow residents had been “terrified” by the prospect of the plans going ahead.

Last night Ms Hunt said she was “very disappointed” by the ruling.

Moray Council’s planning and resources committee approved the scheme in May – despite objections from 173 residents.

Angry villagers clubbed together to hire an Edinburgh-based QC to present their case to the Court of Session in the capital.

Last night, a Moray Council spokesman said: “It is a great shame that this issue had to be tested in court, which is likely to result in significant costs to those supporting the action.

“Planning is a relatively subjective matter, and generates opinions for and against many decisions made by authorities.

“However, Moray Council was confident that the decision to approve the beach huts application was sound in law, and the reasons for this were explained to the petitioners from the outset.”

Developer 1 Architects put the scheme on hold while it was subject to legal proceedings, and withdrew a batch of huts from the market.

The firm yesterday welcomed Lord Armstrong’s verdict, and said it would now resume planning for the development.

Managing director, Ian Sutherland McCook, said: “We’re obviously pleased with the decision, but we don’t view it as a victory in any kind of battle.

“We have never complained about any of the objections that have taken place, the protestors were perfectly entitled to contest the plans in court.

“Our intention has always simply been to bring beach huts back to Findhorn, which were popular here for decades before.

“We have always been quietly confident that was the right thing to do.

“Although there have been objections, we have also had a lot of support – though it has been voiced more quietly perhaps.”

Inspired by efforts at Hopeman, which currently has a 15-year waiting list for huts along its beach, A1 Architects hopes to rent the properties out.

It estimates that, if taxed, Moray Council could rake in £22,500 annually from the huts.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]