THE OWNER of a multi-million pound development on the seafront has described weekend crowds outside his business as “unacceptable”.

Luke Davis, from Rockwater Hove, said his Shacks By The Shore selling takeaway food and alcohol were “completely overwhelmed” by crowds on Saturday and Sunday.

Pictures sent to The Argus from concerned readers show hordes of people on the seafront outside the beach huts, which opened in June.

The Argus: Mr Davis at the Shacks By The Shore June opening Mr Davis at the Shacks By The Shore June opening 

Mr Davis said: “We understand this was not acceptable.

“We have doubled-up security and brought in a new strategy to deal with crowds.

“We have also introduced a new way of spreading out orders.

“It will not happen again and we completely understand that it is not acceptable.”

The Argus: Crowds at Rockwater Hove over the weekendCrowds at Rockwater Hove over the weekend


The Shacks By The Shore are part of a £3.7 million transformation of former pub The Venue by the venture capitalist.

Each of the six huts were named by the community – they include Hove Sh’actually and Love Shack.

One is called “Jim’s Place – named after Jim McKeough, a Brighton paramedic for 13 years, who died in a motorcycle crash on February 3.

The Argus: Jim McKeough's wife, Paula, cuts the ribbon Jim McKeough's wife, Paula, cuts the ribbon 

Mr Davis added: “I would ask the community to be a little bit understanding.

“We did not foresee that volume of people and did everything we could to disperse the crowds.

“We thank the community for wanting to support us, but crowds like that were not what I hoped for.”

This follows concerns that Mr Davis’s seafront igloos and beach huts could be shut down following objections from a group of residents over his planning application.

He is urging Brighton and Hove City Council to consider his petition, which has now amassed more than 9,000 signatures.

READ MORE >> Millions invested in Rockwater on Hove seafront

Councillor for Westbourne Ward, Chris Henry, added: “We’ve long wanted a decent place to eat and drink at this location, so it’s a shame that Covid has helped create this perfect storm of popularity and lack of space for social distancing.

“I spoke to the owner about what changes he could implement to make the system run safer and smoother and he has assured me that this week there will be extra staff and security and a new procedure to ensure the social distancing rules can operate successfully.”