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Open public auction or sealed bid

  • Given the choice between either an open public auction or a sealed bidding process, the majority would prefer an open auction. However, nearly a third of respondents didn’t answer this question. A lot of respondents commented throughout the questionnaire that they didn’t want either of these options, they would prefer no bidding process at all.

Would the proposals have any positive effect on you?  

  • 5% of those with a beach hut, beach hut site or chalet said the proposals would have a positive effect on them. Mainly as it would mean they would be able to have one for longer than they currently do and it would make it more accessible to people without one.
  • 43% without a beach hut, beach hut site or chalet but said they want one said the proposals would have a positive effect on them, mainly as it would give them a chance of having one.
  • 7% of people without a beach hut, beach hut site or chalet that said they don’t want one said the proposals would have a positive effect on them, mainly as it would give more people a chance of having one.

Would the proposals have any negative effect on you?

  • 97% of those with a beach hut, beach hut site or chalet said the proposals would have a negative effect on them.
  • 75% without a beach hut, beach hut site or chalet but said they want one said the proposals would have a negative effect on them.
  • 78% of people without a beach hut, beach hut site or chalet that said they don’t want one said the proposals would have a negative effect on them.

What would these negative effects be?

The most common comments from across all the groups were:

  • With a bidding system I wouldn’t be able to afford one / they would only go to rich people.
  • With a bidding system, locals (not second home owners) would be priced out of the market.
  • They waited or have been on the waiting list for many years, it’s unfair the system could now be changed.
  • The huts wouldn’t be used as much as people from further away would have them.
  • For those that have beach huts – the beach hut is the main focus of their / their families leisure time so it’s important to them to keep it.

To help reduce these negative effects the most common comments across all groups were:

  • Keep the current system.
  • Put up the current rent to a fixed price (with some saying let current renters keep them and some saying it should be a lottery/draw system).
  • Prioritise locals (not second home owners) or make them the only people that can have beach huts, beach hut sites and chalets.
  • Don’t have a bidding process.

Any other comments you would like to make about the proposed changes?

The most common comments across all groups were:

  • Locals (not including second home owners) will be priced out of having a beach hut, beach hut site or chalet. With some saying they should be prioritised or be the only people allowed to bid if the proposals were brought in.
  • It’s unfair as with a bidding system I wouldn’t be able to afford one / they will only go to rich people.
  • Those with beach huts also said there should be more available to meet the demand.
  • Those without beach huts that want one also said that the proposals were just a money making scheme. 
  • Those without beach huts that don’t want one said that we should keep the current scheme.

Any suggestions about how we can improve our current proposals whilst still improving the way we deliver services, get more things done locally that people need whilst working within our budgets?

  • The most common comment across all groups was to put up the rent to a fixed price, don’t have a bidding process (with some saying let current renters keep them and some saying it should be a lottery/draw system).
  • Those with beach huts felt there should be more beach huts, sites and chalets available to meet demand.
  • Those that don’t have beach huts, sites or chalets but want one felt that locals (not including second home owners) will be priced out of having a beach hut, beach hut site or chalet. With some saying they should be prioritised or be the only people allowed to bid if the proposals were brought in.
  • Those without a beach hut, sites or chalet that don’t say they want one felt that there should be some form of lease and a fixed price.

About you

  • 17% of those that responded that have a beach hut, site or chalet were aged under 50.
  • 50% of those that don’t have one but would like one are aged under 50.
  • 26% of those that responded and have a beach hut, site or chalet have a long standing illness, disability or infirmity. In comments made by this group some are saying they are on a fixed income and couldn’t afford to pay more but that their beach hut is their lifeline so they wouldn’t want to lose it.
  • 17% of those that don’t have one but would like one have a long standing illness, disability or infirmity. 
  • Of those that don’t have a waiting list but would like to be on one, by far the most popular area where they wanted to join a waiting list was Budleigh Salterton (47%), followed by Sidmouth (22%) and Exmouth (22%).  

Additional e-mails and letters

Although we only invited comments by people completing the formal questionnaire, 42 people sent in letters in addition to or instead of this and 23 sent e-mails. We have picked out the suggested changes for the proposals from these. They are all in line with comments made by people completing the consultation.