A delegated decision is due to be made next week which will see some beach hut rental fees increase 433% over the next five years (details below).
Leader: “New rents provide a fairer system”
Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Cllr Dave Stewart, claims the increases will bring a fairer system, saying,
“This review remedies some of the anomalies that have developed around beach hut rents over a number of years.
“The new rents provide a fairer system for owners of different sized huts and are more in keeping with other areas.”
Looking at the figures provided by the council (below), OnTheWight found this hard to balance, with those who have beach huts of 10m² or above paying substantially less per m², in the most extreme case, ~one third of the cost.
OnTheWight has asked Dave Stewart to explain his comment of the changes bringing a “fairer system”.
Price per m² of IWC beach huts now and in 5 years
|Size (in m²)||Current rate (£)||Current £ per m²||Rent in 5 yrs (£)||£ per m² in 5 years|
Substantial price increases
Looking at the rental increases and percentages per square metre (see below), it appears that those who can afford to rent a larger beach hut (30m²) will see a 236% price increase, but those renting a 10m² hut will actually see a whopping 433% increase.
IWC Beach hut increase percentage after 5 years
|Size (in m)||Current rate (£)||Rent in 5 yrs (£)||Percent increase|
Extra £150k per year for council
In their report, the Isle of Wight council say, “Sites for beach huts are no different from any other commercial site”.
The current income from 234 beach huts is £71,155 pa. If the increases go ahead as planned, they will boost the council’s coffers to a total rental income of £216,814 pa by year five.
Beach hut owners say increase too high
During the consultation one in five beach hut owners shared their views, but the council say it was “apparent from the varied representations received that owners felt the increase was too high and the speed at which it was to be implemented was too fast”.
Beach hut owners also told the council they wanted the ability to sublet, which will be introduced as one the new features of the ‘fairer fees’ for “the purpose of recovering annual rent and maintenance costs but not for commercial operation”.
Leader: “It’s important we’re more in line with the market value”
Cllr Stewart went on to say,
“Our current rental value is around 85p a day, when on the mainland it’s up to five times that.
“The rental income we receive from these sites help us support other council services, so it’s important we’re more in line with the market value.
“We’ve listened to those beach hut owners who have contacted us since the review was announced and we believe these additional measures would provide a fairer way of implementing the change.”
|Size (in m)||Current rate (£)||2019/20||2020/21||2021/22||2022/23||2023/24|
Image: © Seaview beach huts by Gallyslave