Beach hut owners angry after damage

11:12 17 February 2014

Budleigh beach huts were damaged during the storms. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref exb 1486-06-14TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Budleigh beach huts were damaged during the storms. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref exb 1486-06-14TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Archant

Budleigh beach hut owners and residents are saying ‘hate to say we told you so’ to district bosses after huts left out for winter were damaged by storms.

Previously, East Devon District Council (EDDC) rented out beach huts and hut sites during the summer tourist season, which were then removed for winter.

However, this year, EDDC changed its rental agreements to cover all 12 months of the year – with an associated hike in fees making the council around £20,000 in extra revenue.

The council says it took its decision after requests from hut owners, but critics say the move was designed to raise revenue - and has now backfired.

N and C Rogers wrote to the Journal this week to say: “As long-time beach hut owners, we warned EDDC of damage during winter storms and this came to pass on February 4 and 5.

“We took our beach hut down for the winter as per usual and are pleased we did in view of the damage sustained, but were still forced to pay an extra £122 for the privilege of retaining the plot for the whole year.

“The huts being allowed to stay up is nothing more than an increased income-raising exercise by EDDC - and the owners received no extra service.”

Otter Valley Association (OVA) chairman Nicola Daniel said that the OVA had previously warned EDDC that there had been seven storms since the 1970s of sufficient severity to wreck huts. She said: “Sadly, our warnings have been proved soundly based all too soon.

“Bad decisions have been taken, in the face of well-founded advice, with cost consequences for both beach hut owners and the ratepayers. These costs are avoidable.”

Mrs Daniel added that the OVA was still waiting for EDDC to submit a planning application for year-round huts, which the council acknowledged was needed in October last year.

In response to the criticism, an EDDC spokesman said its decision had been carefully considered, and admitted raising revenue was a factor, but said the council had been caught out by unprecedented weather.

The spokesman said: “Hut owners’ concerns were not ignored and, where we received letters or emails, we responded.

“We considered the risk of damage during the winter and, after weighing it against the savings we would make from erecting and dismantling the huts, concluded that the risk was acceptable.

“In previous years, huts have been damaged in the summer and in other years huts have been left in situ year round (Steamer Steps) and suffered no damage.

“We felt the beach at Budleigh had established sufficiently to offer the huts a degree of protection. What we, like many others in the region and further afield, did not account for was the worst storms in 25 years.

“The reason for extending the season was partly in response to repeated requests from some hut tenants to extend the season, but it was also seen as a way to help increase revenue from our assets.”

The spokesman added that ratepayers would not have to pay for hut repairs, as this would be covered by insurance and also the savings from not dismantling huts, and said submission of the awaited planning application was ‘imminent’.

1 comment

  • Why do we always have to have a EDDC 'Spokesman'? Why doesn't anyone have the courage to put their name to all the inaccurate statements made? 1. Council owned huts have been left up all year for some time now. How they get insurance cover when they have deliberately left them at risk, I don't know. 2. Many people have complained they have not received replies to letters and emails. 3. Note they have now changed from 'hut owners' requesting all year use to 'hut tenants'. Just how many requested this, I wonder.

    Report this comment

    Roger Boud

    Monday, February 17, 2014

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:30
Kittleham orchard

Residents spent a day tending to the Littleham Community Orchard.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
Ten year old Sophia Rehbock is pictured in her garden at Rosehill which was one of the open gardens for Hospiscare in Budleigh Salterton over the weekend. Ref exb 2519-27-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

The organisers of the Budleigh Open Gardens event for Hospiscare have hailed it as a success.

Read more
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Waltons

For more than 60 years, the iconic Walton’s department store was Exmouth’s answer to Grace Brothers in the sitcom Are you Being Served, complete with haberdashery and lingerie departments, menswear and ladieswear, a huge toy department and perfumery.

Read more
Saturday, July 4, 2015
A former contestant on The Voice Adam Isaac entertains the crowds at the party to celebrate 20 years of the Devon Air Ambulance at Darts Farm on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 4029-35-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

A Devon singer and TV star has been added to the bill at an Exmouth charity’s first-ever fundraising ball.

Read more
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Jef Pirie who runs the Littleham and High Street launderettes wrote a one act play entitled 'I'd Like to Believe in Angels' which won the Exmouth One Act Play Festival recently. Ref exe 1733-25-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

An Exmouth playwright is looking to get his work published after he won two awards at a recent drama festival.

Read more
Friday, July 3, 2015
HM Coastguard

A section of Exmouth beach was cordoned off by the coastguard after a two-metre-wide hole appeared in the sand.

Read more
Friday, July 3, 2015
Exeter Road school's sports day. Ref exe 9472-26-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Children at Exeter Road Primary School enjoyed the sunshine as they competed in the school’s annual sports day.

Read more
Friday, July 3, 2015
Exmouth Community College prom night 2015. Ref exe 1521-27-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

ECC Year 11 leavers step out in style

Read more
Friday, July 3, 2015
Exmouth RNLI Lifeboat

A man had to be rescued by the RNLI off the coast of Exmouth after his boat was swept out to sea.

Read more
Friday, July 3, 2015
A grass verge on Marine Way. Ref exe 9844-27-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

‘Ridiculous’ overgrown grass in Exmouth could be cut, with town hall chiefs considering stepping in to improve the appearance of the town.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 16°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder