Plans for 20 new beach huts in Littlehampton as surge in popularity sees prices rise in county

An application has been submitted for 20 new beach huts in Littlehampton.

If granted by Arun District Council the new huts would sit on concrete bearers to match the existing huts opposite the Putting Green in Sea Road.

The application is due to go before the planning committee on April 28, a spokesman for the district council confirmed.

This week, property website OnTheMarket said demand for beach huts has rocketed lately with prices rising by nearly 30 per cent.

Beach huts in Rustington. Photo by Derek Martin Photography

It said there are now 60 per cent fewer huts available for sale compared with six months ago.

Estate agent Bob May, of May’s in Bognor, known locally as the ‘beach hut agent’, said before the first lockdown he had around eight beach huts to sell with no interest but when the restrictions were lifted, they were all snapped up.

The huts range from about £5,000 with relatively short leases and up to £18,000 in Rustington, but prices are creeping up all the time, he said.

He added: “Back in 1995, I sold a hut for £450 but the same hut is now worth about £12,000. The demand has been astonishing! I now have a register of around 100 people hoping to buy one.”

Beach huts in Rustington. Photo by Derek Martin Photography

Website pageviews of beach huts also leapt by 259 per cent earlier this month compared with just six months ago, OnTheMarket said.

And compared with September last year, the average price of a beach hut has increased from £27,805 to £35,919 – a rise of 29 per cent.

Vikki Bennett, of OnTheMarket, said: “Having spent significant amounts of time at home under lockdown restrictions, it’s no wonder that increasing numbers of pent-up Britons are now attracted to the idea of buying a beach hut to own a slice of the outdoors.

“And while many people may be reluctant to travel abroad this summer due to the pandemic even if restrictions are lifted, it seems likely that the popularity of Britain’s beach huts is set to increase even further.”

It is estimated there are around 20,000 huts in the UK.

Depending on the location, they are either owned privately or owned by the local authority.

Covid restrictions have been imposed on beach huts and their use, and owners have been advised to follow Government guidance.