Beach hut rents in Poole could rise by 50%

The cost of using a council-owned beach hut in Poole could increase by more than 50% in the next three years.

The borough council has proposed putting up the rent of its beach huts by an average of about £440 by 2013.

Some of its 1,157 beach huts are on Sandbanks where property prices are among the highest in the world.

The council said a rent increase was "unavoidable" and its beach huts would still represent "value for money".

Its cabinet is due to vote later on whether to approve the plan.

Waiting list

The average cost for a beach hut licence in the town is £846.

If the prices are put up "a lot of ordinary residents will be priced-out", councillor Philip Eades told the BBC.

The plans would see the average price rise to £973 next year, £1,119 in 2012 and to almost £1,300 by 2013.

Anyone taking out a new licence from next year would immediately be expected to pay the 2013 rate.

There are 500 Poole residents on the waiting list for a beach hut and the average wait is about eight years.

The council said: "We are doing everything we can to protect frontline services and increasing charges on services such as beach huts is unavoidable.

"Despite the proposed increases, Poole beach huts will continue to represent better value for money than in many other areas."

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