Additional tolls on the way for the beach huts of Arun District Council

Rodney has approved changes to the lease of beach huts, which should end in March next year.

The Economic Committee of the Arun District Council met on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

The council manages 242 beach houses, which should bring in a profit of £ 150,000 for the 2021/22 season.

Of these, 92 are for rent, 150 – for rent to private clients.

There were several options on the table that included disposing of some private huts and replacing them.

However, this did not happen, and councilors voted to increase the annual rent.

But deputies were not satisfied with the proposal to increase rents by 30 percent at once.

Instead, they decided to increase rents by 10 percent a year for the next three years, adding another three percent annually – just 13 percent a year.

This will be based on current rates rather than a compound interest model that would increase by more than 30 percent in three years.

Arun residents currently cost £ 880.34 a year to rent a beach hut. This increases to £ 1,056.40 a year for non-residents, and the rent for private beach huts is £ 446.03 a year.

Argus: Aruna District Council has put up a fence to keep dogs from contaminating the grass Arun District Council has put up a fence to keep dogs from contaminating the grass

The committee also voted to only award Arun residents new rent. Currently, 39 people from outside the district rent beach huts.

Liberal Democratic Party adviser James Walsh said: “I have been attacked by a host of emails and emails from existing tenants and landlords concerned about the lack of consultation.

“It shows the board in a very bad light as landlords.

“The 30 percent increase at this time is downright outrageous – I know we don’t have the money, but everyone else does.

“Many long-term tenants may be forced to give up because of rising prices.”

Chairman Walsh said the increase was “a step too far” and risks “losing the goodwill of bona fide tenants”.

The Conservative adviser was also concerned about what he called a “lack of consultation”.

“We need to have a guarantee that this will not happen again,” he said, “we have been elected by the electorate to really be their voice, and so I am very, very upset that this has happened.

“We in Arun need to start talking and listening to our residents.

“We had four years to come to this meeting, four years, and yet now we have a gun to the head so it’s done like a smeared lightning because we only have six months.”

Argus: Felpham beach huts before the fence was completed Felpham beach huts to the fence

The board took over the management of the beach huts at Inspire Leisure in 2016 and then awarded a five-year lease.

Liberal Democrat adviser Gil Yates said it was a difficult topic because “everyone has been through a hard time, but beach huts” are a luxury. ”

Council officials said the 30 per cent increase was “reasonable” and in line with levies from neighboring authorities.

Conservative adviser Alison Cooper could not understand why there was a reluctance about the increase, saying: “As far as I can see, it is not above market value.”

Her Conservative colleague Grant Roberts said it would be unfair to rent houses below market rates, saying Arun residents would essentially “subsidize property rights”.

“We want the best ratio for the whole area and that should apply to beach huts,” he said.

There was a consensus among the participants that more beach huts were needed.

Independent adviser Tony Dixon said: “Beach huts are a great investment – we know there is a slow demand and a waiting list.

“The best way to deal with this is to build more beach huts: let’s make our beaches busy, let’s bring people and families down.

“We’re not Brighton, we’re not Bournemouth, we need them to be accessible.”

Argus: Littlehampton beach hutsLittlehampton beach huts

He urged the council to “stock it up high and sell it cheap” with “as many houses on the beach as people want”.

The ADC is looking to increase the number of homes on the beach and has made £ 250,000 available, but officers said it depends on planning permission.

This was acknowledged by council leader Sean Gunner, who said: “I am a big fan of having more beach huts; I was disappointed when the planning committee decided to give up [a scheme]. ”

Committee Chairman Andy Cooper said residents with shaded views of the beach did not necessarily agree that they were “flooding them”.

The new lease is not given to people living outside Arun.

Independent adviser Emily Sieks said she saw no reason for this, explaining it by saying that “she will be happy if Londoners come to the city and spend the money”.

Cllr Seex also offered to turn the waiting list, which currently includes several hundred people.

She said: “I believe we should provide more opportunities to benefit because many people in the family for 50 years have had a home on the beach and I don’t think that’s fair.”

Committee members generally supported Cllr Seex’s idea, but officers said it could lead to too many administrators.

Argus: Sean Gunner, leader of the Arun ConservativesSean Gunner, leader of the Arun Conservatives

They explained, “We run the service in a very small team – we don’t want to create more administrators, which would increase the need for more staff.”

Committee members also voted to allow the rental of huts for three and seven years.

In the future, if the owner sells his hut, he will have to pay the board six times the annual rent for the land at the time of sale or 20 percent of the sale price – whichever is greater.

The committee supported the move, and Cllr Seex said it would be “unfair” for the owners of the huts to benefit from the Council’s land.

She said: “There are currently two beach huts for sale: one for £ 39,000 and one for £ 40,000.

“The price is not in the barn – it is in the ground. So I think it’s fair to return some of that money to the community. ”

Owners will also get the right to rent their beach hut.

Friends said it would allow the system to be fairer so more people could access beach huts.

The committee spent more than an hour discussing the beach huts and Chairman Cllr Cooper said: “Anyone watching can see how this committee takes this proposal, and all the proposals are taken very seriously – we want it to be right for the district and residents. ”

Cllr Gunner said beach huts are “an integral part of our coastal economy.”

The board has promised clients of beach huts that they will be notified of any changes six months before the end of the lease.

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