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The race is on to save one of Australia’s most iconic beaches at a cost of $3 million.
Dendy Street Beach in Melbourne – famous on social media for its colourful beach huts – has been under threat from erosion and rising sea levels for several years.
Bayside City Council will import sand from north Brighton Beach next month to ‘renourish’ the heritage-protected boxes and could spend as much as $3million to build a groyne – a protective barrier for the shoreline.
Dendy Street Beach in Melbourne – famous on social media for its colourful beach huts – is under threat from coastal erosion
The colourful huts have become a trend on social media and locals believe the council sees the beach as a ‘cash grab’
In 2013 the colourful boxes were moved away from the high-tide line and a masterplan for the beach recommended new boxes be built for the southern end of the famous beach.
However box owner and the secretary for Brighton Bathing Box Association John Rundell said the beach had a long history of issues.
‘There used to be 120 bathing boxes at the beach, the numbers had dropped down to 82, and the council have built 14 new boxes, including six at the southern end of the beach, which is where boxes were washed away historically,’ he told The Age.
The iconic boxes have become a status symbol in Melbourne with the tiny wooden shacks costing well over $300,000 each and only open to locals for purchase
‘The southern end of the beach has been subject to storm damage.’
Other association members have also slammed the recommendation as irresponsible arguing it would only prove the council saw Dendy Street Beach as a local cash grab.
Last July the council was forced to take action against ‘unusual sand movement’ and protect five boxes using sandbags, which locals complained didn’t help the problem.
The iconic boxes have become a status symbol in Melbourne with the tiny wooden shacks costing well over $300,000 each and only open to locals for purchase.
Tourists have flocked to the iconic beachfront huts to share photos on their social media
Owners of the beachfront boxes are subject to strict decoration guidelines and are expected to pay $1,000 annual rates for the shacks that have no electricity or running water.
But despite their issues the boxes are still incredibly popular and local real estate agents believe their value will only increase over time.
Coastal erosion has been a long-standing issue for Bayside City Council and a recent report from Corelogic found Brighton was at risk of losing $415.4 million in property value, the third worst affected in Melbourne.
Dendy Street Beach is one of few Melbourne beaches owned by council, with the majority being Crown land.