Nearly 1,500 people on the waiting list for rare beach hut spots on Budleigh seafront
PUBLISHED: 12:46 09 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:17 13 August 2019
Almost 1,500 people are on a waiting list to rent prized parcels of land on Budleigh's seafront, the Journal can reveal.
Just 142 spaces for beach huts on Budleigh's beach are leased by East Devon District Council (EDDC).
Of the 130 renters, 92 have an EX9 postcode, which comprises Budleigh and the Otter Valley.
For every beach hut space in Budleigh, there are on average 10 people vying to take it on - but it could take a decade to get the chance to get one.
Caz Sismore-Hunt, mayor of Budleigh, said she did not know there were so many people on the waiting list, but said the town's beach had a 'unique' appeal.
She sad: "Our beach is flat - you can walk along the whole length of it. You do not have to struggle to get there.
"We seem to make our own weather in Budleigh. Whatever the forecast, you cannot guarantee that Budleigh is going to get that."
Cllr Sismore-Hunt said it could be raining or cloudy in Sidmouth, but sunny in Budleigh - a quirk which could attract people to its sprawling coastline.
And there is a big demand.
EDDC, which leases the spaces, said there is an eight to ten year wait to get the chance to own a spot, which has no electricity and is supplied water via a communal tap.
The sites are automatically offered to the same people every year until they no-longer want to rent.
A large site will set you back £508.17 each year, while a small site costs £442.40 for renters between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020.
The number of people on the waiting list for beach hut spaces at Budleigh's five sites, as of May 20 this year, is 1,469. Of those, 608 people on the list have an EX9 postcode.
Budleigh's Steamer Steps site has the most interest from prospective renters, with 313 people on the waiting list.
Of those, 135 have an EX9 postcode.
The site which has attracted the least interest is the town's Police site which has 277 people on the renters' waiting list.
Of those, 113 have an EX9 postcode.