‘Expensive’ insurance to be forced on Budleigh beach hut owners

PUBLISHED: 13:58 05 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:58 05 June 2017

Budleigh beach. Ref exb 31-16TI 5573. Picture: Terry Ife

Budleigh beach. Ref exb 31-16TI 5573. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Beach hut owners in Budleigh Salterton could be forced to provide expensive insurance under district council plans being discussed.

The move by East Devon District Council (EDDC) - which would see those who provide their own units on rented sites have to provide public liability insurance at their own cost - has drawn criticism from some.

Earlier this year, fishing shed owners were told they would have to provide their own insurance, covering them for up to £5million, on top of new lease agreements.

Victoria Robinson, who has had a beach hut in the town for more than 20 years, has questioned the need for the insurance.

She said: “I had insurance on my beach hut when we left it up over the winter one year and I didn’t have to claim.

“I don’t quite know why we would have to take out insurance through the summer.”

Sue Harrington, who has had a beach hut for 19 years, claimed the council was being ‘more and more difficult’ on the back of controversial rent increases last year.

However, Budleigh resident Anthony Swinburne-Johnson, who has had his hut for 14 years, agrees with the move.

He said: “They (the council) are saving people from themselves.”

An EDDC spokesman said: “The council wishes to ensure that structures on council land, including those sublet to others, carry adequate public liability insurance to provide cover for losses and/or injuries in the event of damage being caused to adjoining property or to members of the public using the premises or adjoining council land.

“It is the case that many of the beach huts provided by the council are, historically, covered under the council’s block insurance policy and the individual cost of premiums is reflected in the rent paid by the users/occupiers.

“The position whereby the licensee provides the beach hut currently differs from this.”

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