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Council says beach hut demand is outstripping supply

City councillors have found 11 potential sites to build more beach huts on. A full report was being discussed by members of the Herne Bay area members panel on Tuesday and by Whitstable members last night (Wednesday). The council’s ruling executive will discuss the comments on July 28.

Members of the Herne Bay Beach Hut Association, Tankerton Bay Beach Hut Association, Herne Bay Residents Association, Whitstable Society and Whitstable Harbour Board took part in the review of all sites from Seasalter to Reculver.

Thirty-one sites have been ruled out for expansion including land near Seasalter Sailing Club, central Tankerton Slopes, the green gap at Swalecliffe, Studd Hill in Herne Bay, Herne Bay’s Central Parade and Bishopstone Glen to Reculver.

Community groups have been invited to comment on the report by July 4. It is available on the council website. Reculver councillor Gillian Reuby said:

“I have no problem with more beach huts in principle, but when it comes to Herne Bay we need to be very careful. I divide the town into three parts: the western part is beach huts and family areas; the middle is day-trippers and shoppers and is very lively; the eastern part is tranquil, undisturbed and for those looking for peace and quiet and nice walks.”

The city council’s head of community development and outdoor leisure, Suzi Wakeham, said:

“Demand for beach huts in Herne Bay and Whitstable is outstripping supply. Beach hut associations have waiting lists and huts sell quickly on the market. They are also good for the local economy and have an important role to play in the regeneration of Herne Bay.”

The report is available at council offices in Herne Bay, Whitstable Improvement Trust and Whitstable library. Do we need more beach huts? Email newsdesk.times@KRNmedia.co.uk or leave a message on our Facebook site.

HB Times 17th Jun 2011

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  1. As I understand it, the Council has a statutory duty to make the most of the public assets that it holds on our behalf. In this case the public asset is beach frontage.The long waiting list for beach huts is explained by simple economics: demand is out-stripping supply because the beach huts are a bargain, and a money-spinner.The solution to the waiting list is not to immediately build more beach huts, but to start charging a realistic fee for the existing beach huts.The Council should raise the beach hut licence fee to shorten (but not eliminate) the waiting list – this would result in an increased and sustainable revenue stream.The Council should remove the right of owners to make a profit by selling their beach hut space on the open market, as this allows private individuals to benefit personally from the demand for a public asset. It is the Council who should be benefiting, as this is a public asset.