Felixstowe: Angry hut and chalet owners seek public meeting over rent rises
14:30 04 February 2013
CHALET and beach hut owners are hoping to call a public meeting to express their anger over huge rent rises being imposed this year.
Cost of a seaside hut at Manor Terrace, Felixstowe.
■ 2004 – £189.02 , a 14per cent increase on the previous year
■ 2005 – £215.54, 15pc rise
■ 2006 – £247.88, 5pc rise
■ 2007 - £260.26, 5pc rise
■ 2008 – £273.28, 7.7pc rise
■ 2009 – £294.20, 12.4pc rise
■ 2010 – £340.04, 10pc rise
■ 2011 – £350.24, 3pc rise
■ 2012 – £369.85, 5.6pc rise
■ 2013 – £411.35, 12pc rise
Suffolk Coastal has agreed to increase Felixstowe’s chalet rents by 20 per cent from April, with beach hut site rents set to go up by 12pc.
Hut owner Brian Godbold, of Ipswich, said the rise meant his rent at the Manor Terrace prom site had now more than doubled in a decade.
“I am incensed and I am sure many other owners will go ballistic when their bills come through the letterbox,” he said.
“I am hoping to get a public meeting together to see how we should react.
“I think the council are taking the mick. Apart from a water tap on a piece of muddy morass we get nothing else for our money. It’s absolutely shocking, a joke.”
Julie Downton, of East Bergholt, whose family have had a hut in Undercliff Road East for many years, said some owners may consider giving up their huts and the town would lose out on the trade they bring, using shops, attractions and facilities.
“I am really disgruntled. No-one from the council has replied to our letters or phone calls to explain why such a huge increase is necessary,” she said.
Chalet tenant Roy Gray said: “I think the council needs to explain fully the reasons – they also need to explain why this rent has to be paid in one lump sum instead of over a year, which would make it less painful for people.”
Chalet tenants pay up to £1,200 per year and will see bills rise by up to £240. Beach hut owners pay on average about £300 and will pay around £36 more.
A Suffolk Coastal spokesman said the council needed to raise money for free services such as public toilets and rubbish collection and street cleansing.
“We have reviewed all charges across all our services and comparatively our charges for beach huts and chalets are still very good value for money, even with the planned increase that will bring them in line with that charged by other councils,” he said.
■ Are the rises too steep? Give your comments below . . .