BEACH hut owners and chalet tenants angry at huge rent rises were told today the new charges will go ahead this spring.

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Suffolk Coastal is to increase Felixstowe’s chalet rents by 20% from April, with beach hut site rents set to go up by around 12%, and some hut owners have called for the fees to be reviewed.

Geoff Holdcroft, cabinet member for economic development and leisure, said the council’s position on the increases had not changed and they will go ahead in April.

He said: “I have asked for all complaints to be shared with me – we have sent letters to more than 1,000 people affected by the change and have so far received under 40 written complaints.

“There is no planned cabinet debate about charges for chalets or indeed beach huts until the decisions are being made for 2014/15, although when cabinet voted for the increase that takes effect this April it also agreed that a review of the prices charged for beach huts and chalets be conducted later this year.

“Cabinet took the decision to raise beach hut and chalet prices knowing that it would not be a popular decision but we were fully aware that all the indications are that our new prices are still good value for money and that we have a duty to all our residents to charge a fair rate for all our services and balance our budget.”

He continued: “We are in tough financial times and need to generate enough income to ensure that we can still provide our free services such as our public toilets and rubbish collection and street cleansing that visitors to our tourist attractions such as Felixstowe are receiving.”

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