Fears Felixstowe beach hut rents could double under new scheme


- Credit: citizenside.com

Seaside beach hut owners are being urged to attend a meeting next Tuesday which could approve radical changes to their leases and rent rises which would see fees almost double in the next eight years.

Suffolk Coastal council is bracing itself for protests from Felixstowe’s 900-plus hut owners – especially as it is planning to make its decision before it meets with owners to discuss the plans.

It needs to generate more income to maintain its core services and the proposals it has drawn up for the management of its beach hut sites will increase income from £430,000 to £736,000 by 2025.

Three years ago when the council raised rents, there was a huge outcry – with protest marches along the prom.

Roy Gray, vice chairman of Felixstowe Beach Hut and Chalet Association, said the group was “very disappointed”.

He said: “The council said it would consult with us on the outcome of the review of huts. A meeting was arranged but then cancelled and now a fresh date has been arranged for December 16 – but by then they will have made their decision.”

A report to cabinet said: “There is a risk that the increase in rent may cause disquiet among beach hut owners. If the increase to beach hut owners’ asset value and longer term security benefits unlocked as part of this process are communicated effectively, the justification for the increase should sell itself.”

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The stepped rent increases will be part of new 10-year leases for the hut sites, which will replace annual agreements and give the hut owners greater security and increase the value of their huts – as it has done at resorts such as Southwold, where some huts sell for up to £100,000.