FURY has been expressed at the news Worthing and Adur Councils will soon start charging people who sell their beach hut a fee.
The extra bill for the owners of beach huts will be 10 per cent of the sale price, or three times the annual lease paid to the council for the small square of land, which currently stands at £433.60 – the seller will have to pay whichever figure is greater.
Goring resident Jane Hatton, of Ryecroft Gardens, said she was “disgusted” with the new ruling and was “very upset” when she received the letter from the council stating what was going to be happening.
She said: “I am born and bred in Worthing. We are fair people and we are paying everything we can.”
In the family
The mum-of-five and grandmother-of-four said she had hoped to keep the beach hut within the family for generations to come.
“We have got grandchildren now so there is beginning to be a different generation to pass it on to and now we can’t give it to our own daughter without incurring a charge,” she said.
“I want them to enjoy it.”
The leader of Worthing Council, Paul Yallop, said the decision had been taken as the council needed to make money due to reduced government funding.
He said: “We are living in difficult times. We spend an awful lot of money on keeping the beach in good order.
“We have to make difficult decisions.”
He said the beach hut was almost worthless by itself and that it was the council land it sits on which made it worth at least £10,000.
“The council’s argument is it is our land and people seem to be selling it to make a profit,” he said.
“If we are going to accept that, we want a share.”
He added: “People have been getting away with it for years.”
He said if beach hut owners were not happy with this, they could remove their beach hut and give the land back to the council for them to give it to residents on the waiting list.
In the letter sent to beach hut owners on January 17, the council said even in the depressed climate huts were still regularly being sold for £10,000-£12,000.
It said in the past, they had sold for even more than that.
The council currently leases more than 100 beach huts in Worthing.
The charge to beach hut owners will come into effect in April.