All East Devon beach huts rented - despite price hike
PUBLISHED: 12:30 19 August 2016
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, giving their full name, address and telephone number. There are different waiting times in each location.
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