East Devon District Council’s beach huts and chalets will re-open from Saturday (July 4), in line with the government’s relaxation of lockdown rules.
Chris Carson www.midweekherald.co.uk
The council has 417 beach huts in Sidmouth, Seaton, Beer, Budleigh and Exmouth.
It has 20 chalets in Exmouth, which, along with the 68 beach huts can be used all-year-round.
The season for the other beach huts runs from late March to the end of October.
The beach huts have remained closed since lockdown in March.
Now they are being re-opened, the council will put up social distancing signage and ground stencils at each site.
Tenants will be given brief guidance on steps they should take at their sites, and will be required to adhere to detailed government guidance on social distancing and hygiene, to ensure that the huts and chalets are used safely and responsibly.
For beach hut tenants who are shielding or are unable to use their hut this season the council has agreed that no charge for their hut will be made this year, they will be able to take up their normal rental next year if they wish.
Access for erecting huts or collecting keys is under way and EDDC is requiring that all huts are up within a strict three week period, to minimise any impact on the summer holidays.
Tenants will be responsible for ensuring the safety of hut erections, adhering to covid-19 secure guidance and safe methods of operation or ensuring their contractors do so.
To compensate for the lost time due to the Lockdown the council is holding the beach hut charge rate from last year and reducing it pro-rata for the remaining season.
Councillor Paul Hayward, deputy leader of EDDC said: “I am delighted that these much-loved and well-used public amenities are now able to be re-opened, subject to the necessary social distancing and signage.
“I wholeheartedly believe that council has struck the right balance between public safety and public amenity in this decision and look forward to seeing our beaches and tourist spots bustling with laughter and fun again.
“Summer is an intrinsic part of Devon life and the ability to sit by the seaside is an oft overlooked pleasure.”