Felixstowe: We won’t stop the fight – beach hut owners and chalet tenants voice grievances at public meeting

Ray Herring of Sufffolk Costal District Council talks at the public meeting about Felixstowe Beach H

Ray Herring of Sufffolk Costal District Council talks at the public meeting about Felixstowe Beach Hut price rise - Credit: Archant

DEFIANT beach hut owners and chalet tenants today refused to give up the fight to stop large rent increases being imposed on them – despite being told the charges will not be reviewed.

Suffolk Coastal District Council has agreed to increase the rent on chalets in Felixstowe by 20% and 12% on beach huts, sparking outrage among owners in the town.

More than 100 people packed into Cotman Hall yesterday as people laid out their grievances to council leader Ray Herring at a public meeting.

And a proposal to set up a beach hut owners association which would be able to raise concerns with the council in future was raised.

Barbara Grace, who has has said she will saw a chunk off her beach hut to avoid a big rise, said: “These people have been taken the mickey out of – this is absolutely obscene.

“We are not settling for this, it is not going to happen. I think everyone is going to stick together.

“We want to have an association for beach hut owners,” she added.

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Julie Downton, of East Bergholt, who organised the meeting, said: “I have been amazed by the attendance.

“This meeting has shown that we will carry on fighting and the people here all do want to stand together.”

A council spokesman told the Star earlier this month the district council needed to raise money for free services such as public toilets and rubbish collection.

Cllr Herring told the meeting there would be ‘no review of the charges’ as the decision has already been made, but he came out in support of an association.

He said: “I did expect a large number and there was some useful feedback from beach hut owners.

“If they do get the people together, a beach hut owners association would be very useful and I think it is a very positive position.”

Many people were unable to enter the hall yesterday due to the number of people who attended but another public meeting is being arranged for next week.

Cllr Herring asked people to contact him with their questions and issues about the rent rise.

For information about the next meeting, and for more information about the association, please email julie@downton.net