Felixstowe ‘more expensive’ than Brighton and Bournemouth
An ugly subject for beach hut owners – but this is good for you all to know so if you can, back these folks up 🙂
Felixstowe’s beach hut owners are being asked to pay rents that are 100% higher, pro rata, than those paid by beach hut owners in Southwold and 700% higher, pro rata, than those paid by beach hut owners in the Tendring district, just a few miles south of Felixstowe.
These are just two figures that highlight the true – and unfeasibly large – hikes in rental charges being proposed by Suffolk Coastal District Council.
An extensive benchmarking exercise, carried out by the Felixstowe Beach Hut & Chalet Association, has revealed the shocking extent of the proposed rental hikes and lease premium, compared to other areas of Suffolk and the UK.
The proposed increase for the town’s beach hut owners is at least 325%, with the current premium charge levied at, at least, £420 per year and will be increasing to, at least, £1,786 per annum. Some owners could pay considerably more to lease the site for their Felixstowe-based huts.
This means that the cost of owning a hut and leasing a site in the town would be higher than in some of the UK’s top seaside resorts, including Bournemouth, Eastbourne, Brighton and the New Forest.
“The fact that it could cost more to have a beach hut in Felixstowe than, for example, Bournemouth serves to highlight just how unfair and unrealistic the rent increase and lease premium proposed by SCDC are,” said the FBHCA’s chairman Joanne Woodward.
“To underline our point, which is that Felixstowe’s beach huts owners are set to be over charged to the point of having to give up their huts, we set about collating data from key seaside resorts. We knew that we were potentially being significantly over charged, but even we have been shocked by our findings.
“To discover that it would be cheaper to have a lease in Hove, Hastings and Heacham – not to mention Southwold – was very sobering indeed.”
Members of the Felixstowe Beach Hut and Chalet Association, and their supporters, are set to march along Felixstowe seafront on Sunday March 12th, to protest against the proposed introduction of a lease premium and significant hikes to their annual beach hut rent.
The Felixstowe Beach Hut and Chalet Association (FBHCA) believes that beach hut owners are being treated as ‘cash cows’ by Suffolk Coastal District Council – to the point where many members (78% of respondents in a recently survey) have said that they will no longer be able to afford to keep their huts. It also takes issue with the way that the charges and increases have been levied at the town’s beach hut and chalet owners – initially without consultation and still without transparency.
“The march will serve to increase awareness of the unfairness of the proposals, put forward by Suffolk Coastal District Council, to increase annual rent charges for Felixstowe’s beach hut owners and the huge lease premium that they also want to impose – which for most hut owners will be around £7,000, plus VAT. So that’s £8,400 for a 10-year lease,” added Mrs Woodward.
“The proposed rental hikes and lease premium have the potential to impact on the whole town and its businesses, not just beach hut owners. We feel that it’s vital to inform Felixstowe’s wider population about SCDC’s proposed charges and the impact that they will have on the town’s heritage, aesthetic and economy,” she added.
The march starts at Manor End at 10:30am on Sunday March 12th and will proceed the length of the promenade, finishing at Cobbold’s Point.
REPORTER Journalism Ltd