Arun District Council agreed on a number of changes to beach hut leases in a meeting on Tuesday (October 12).
The changes will see rent increase by 13 per cent each year for the next three years, meaning owners could be paying 39 per cent more rent for their beach huts by 2024.
Felpham resident Tobias Lloyd, who has co-owned a beach hut with his mother for the last five years, said he and other residents were originally worried the council would scrap the leases altogether, building composite huts to sell at ‘an inflated price’.
The rent increase has left him relieved, but unenthusiastic.
“Compared to what else they were looking at doing, it’s okay. But it’s still a nearly 50 per cent increase in three years ,“ he said.
“The council really don’t do an awful lot for the huts. They mow the grass about five times a year and that’s it.”
Although new leases for the will be exclusive to Arun-residents, the council has also decided to allow owners to sub-let their beach huts, allowing them to make the most of services like Air BnB.
For Mr Lloyd, however that sets something of a negative precedent.
“I don’t think people should be making money off the beach huts. I think they should be for people who live here and use them,” he said.
Mr Lloyd also said he felt let down by the council’s failure to communicate both the fact of the meeting and the reality of the other options being discussed to owners like himself.
“There was no communication with the hut owners. It would have gone a long way if they’d just sent a letter out saying ‘we’re having a meeting, these are the proposals.'”
Arun District Council has been approached for comment.