HISTORIC railway carriages that have been used as beach huts on St Helens Duver for decades will not be consigned to the scrapheap if the site is redeveloped.

The IW Council confirmed there have been discussions about redeveloping the area, but said they were aware of, and would be mindful of, the heritage of the carriages.

The IW Steam Railway has also noted its interest in taking the carriages for historical preservation and restoration.

The issue has been keenly followed by Richard Adams, a holidaymaker who has been visiting the Island for 70 years.

He told the County Press: "These carriages form the longest feature of these historic items in the country and were brought to St Helens by barge some 90 years ago. They have remained on the same site ever since and have survived all weathers including severe storms.

"The carriages came off the Old Metropolitan Line, the oldest railway line in Britain, built about 1860.

"Now they provide a focal point for sailors and owners of boats on entering Bembridge Harbour by sea."

A council spokesperson said: "The council is aware of the heritage of the railway carriages at St Helens Duver and would be mindful of this when putting together any proposal for the future of the site.

"We are currently in negotiations with the previous leaseholder to take back and directly manage part of the site.

"While redevelopment has been discussed, no decision has been made about the removal of the railway carriages.

"Any plans to change the site would require the benefit of planning permission and at this point public consultation would be undertaken."