Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 13:16 UK

Designer 'beach huts' go on sale


The money from the sales will go towards the Boscombe regeneration project

Retro-style beach huts with a price tag of up to £90,000 offering panoramic views across Bournemouth's new artificial surf reef have gone on sale.

Boscombe's 1950s Overstrand complex has been converted into 48 "beach pods" as part of an area regeneration project.

The pods have mains electricity, hot and cold running water, kitchen units and French doors leading onto a small private balcony overlooking the beach.

A single pod will cost £64,995 while a double one is listed for £89,995.

The beach chalet complex which formed the first and second floors of the Overstrand building had been derelict for 15 years.

The ground floor, which had also stood empty, has been turned into a restaurant, two surfing shops, a lifeguard station, public showers, toilets, changing facilities and an events office.

Thirty-one of the pods will be sold on a 25-year lease, with the remaining 17 reserved for casual hire from the council.

Wayne Hemingway, who designed them, said: "People will buy them because this is one-off.

"When they're gone, they're gone.

"It's a little bit of beautiful coastline that's yours to look out on, over a surf reef - the first in Europe.

New beach 'pods' rival huts

"This is a 1950s building, a mid-century building, that normally gets knocked down because a lot of people don't understand the intrinsic value of 1950s architecture.

"We wanted to retain the authenticity of it, which we have done, but bring it up to date.

"When you get inside you'll see that there's a chi-chi apartment but done with nostalgic 50s imagery.

"Bournemouth council has been brave - really clever thinking here.

"The money that comes in from it will go to the council to help them do all the great landscaping and the regeneration that's happening here."

A sale event was being held for prospective buyers on Friday.

The much-delayed artificial surf reef is anticipated to be completed in September.

Work on it recently resumed after developers took a weather-induced winter break.

The reef was planned for completion by last October, with an agreed overrun to December if the weather was bad.

The cost of it has nearly doubled from £1.4m to £2.7m.

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