All East Devon beach huts rented - despite price hike

PUBLISHED: 12:30 19 August 2016

The beach huts at Jacob's Ladder that were severely damaged during the winter storms are now completely repaired and ready for the summer season. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 2425-20-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

The beach huts at Jacob's Ladder that were severely damaged during the winter storms are now completely repaired and ready for the summer season. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 2425-20-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Archant

All 498 of East Devon’s publicly-owned beach huts, sites and chalets have now been let for 2016/17 despite the cost nearly doubling in some places, the district council has confirmed.

The waiting list is now open to applicants for the 2017/18 season.

Sidmouth’s 24 huts had an eight-year waiting list until last summer, when East Devon District Council (EDDC) consulted users and increased the rent. The cost will nearly double - from £521.67 last summer, to £1,002 in 2017/18.

Nearly a quarter of tenants across East Devon relinquished their rentals after the new prices were introduced.

But Councillor Iain Chubb, EDDC’s portfolio holder for the environment, said the take-up proved the huts were ‘realistically priced’. He added: “Many people said that the increase in rent for a beach hut would result in only wealthy people from outside East Devon being able to afford a hut, So it is interesting to note that our lettings list reveals that the vast majority of beach hut and site users are local people. People must remember also that the council has a duty to maximise its assets in the most effective way possible. So, by being able to collect more money from this enterprise than we have previously – we were effectively subsidising the service – means that we can now improve the service and reinvest any surplus monies in other council services where there is a funding shortfall.”

Anyone interested in joining the waiting lists should contact the council’s customer service centre on 01395 516551 or csc@eastdevon.gov.uk, giving their full name, address and telephone number. There are different waiting times in each location.

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