District council confirms no vacant beach huts for 2016/17 but says waiting lists are open to applicants for 2017/18 season
East Devon District Council is delighted to report that all of its 237 beach huts, 20 beach chalets and 241 beach hut sites at Beer, Seaton West, Seaton East, Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth and are now fully let for the 2016/2017 season.
Anyone interested in the possibility of renting a hut, chalet or site in 2017/2018 can join one of the waiting lists, which they can do by contacting the council’s Customer Service Centre on 01395 516551 or by email via firstname.lastname@example.org giving their full name, address and telephone number. All the waiting lists are now open, but have different waiting times.
A consultation undertaken in spring 2015, which resulted in changes to the management of council owned beach huts and an increase in prices for beach hut rentals, meant that the council was able to open up the waiting lists for beach huts/sites to people who in some cases had been waiting for up to eight years in the hope of renting a hut at one of these beautiful Jurassic Coast World Heritage sites.
Although initially there was a turnover of 24% of beach hut/beach hut sites/chalet tenants who relinquished their rentals after the changes were implemented, by May 2016 76% of tenants had renewed their licences.
I am delighted with the news that all our beach huts, chalets and sites are now let – it certainly proves that they are realistically priced. The council has worked hard to ensure that one of East Devon’s most popular assets is now available to a wider number of people. We know that the beach huts service is one of our most valued services, yet it is not something we have to provide. But we know how much it means to people, which is why we undertook the consultation in order to find a sensible and cost effective solution that would enable new hirers (who wouldn’t previously have had a chance to appreciate a beach hut) to enjoy one of these wonderful facilities.
Many people said that the increase in rent for a beach hut would result in only wealthy people from outside East Devon being able to afford a hut. So it is interesting to note that our lettings list reveals that the vast majority of beach hut/sites users are local people.
People must remember also that the council has a duty to maximise its assets in the most effective way possible. So by being able to collect more money from this enterprise than we have previously – we were effectively subsidising the service - means that we can now improve the service and reinvest any surplus monies in other council services where there is a funding shortfall.
To find out where along the beautiful Jurassic coastline you could have a seafront spot visit the beach hut pages on the East Devon website.