New beach huts to slow cliff erosion?

“Wish you were sheer? These beach huts will be built into a 100ft cliff if plans get the OK.

The 28 “pods” will rest on stilts, with the top tier 35ft up, and are designed to help stop erosion at Poole, Dorset.

The prices of the huts have not yet been confirmed but it is likely to be tens of thousands of pounds.

Earlier this week a 6.5ft x 14ft one-room beach hut in Christchurch – just 12 miles along the coast from Swanage – went on sale for £80,000.

Each of the huts will have 140sq ft of floor space and balconies providing panoramic views of the beach and sea.

They will sit on stilts that will act as pile foundations and will be drilled into the ground to improve the stability of the cliff. …”

Exmouth beach huts: to be or not to be? Depends whether you think the Development Management Committee makes decisions!

There is currently a planning application submitted – 16/2087/DEM to demolish the DJ’s Diner building on Exmouth Seafront.

At the DMC on 8th March Cllr Williamson (Littleham) proposed the condition (which was agreed) for the road move application that the cafe and the beach huts should not be demolished, nor any start to be made on the road, until there was a timescale, etc. for the water sports centre.

No timescale yet exists, yet the planning application seems to be completely ignoring this decision.

Unfortunately, the working that went in the final planning application is ( surprise, surprise) rather vague (approval document listed under application – 15/2487/MRES). However for those who were at the DMC, they are quite certain that the proposed condition was for no work – including demolition.

And of course there is also the issue of the town poll being ignored and EDDC ploughing ahead with leaving the area derelict regardless.

Beach hut waiting list mystery

Owl has been contacted by someone nearer to 100 on the waiting list in Seaton for the favoured East Walk has been offered a choice of 5 sites available and has anecdotally said that someone way down on the less-favoured West Walk site has been offered a choice of three sites. Both are refusing due to cost.

Hhhmmm … time for that discount Mr Pook!

Beach huts: EDDC’s numbers don’t add up.

23 May 2016, EDDC Website:

Remaining East Devon beach hut/chalets/beach hut sites vacancies

Beer – three beach hut sites available – join the waiting list now
Seaton – 14 beach hut sites available – join the waiting list now and secure a spot near the new Seaton Jurassic centre
Budleigh – seven sites available – join the waiting list now
Exmouth – one chalet remaining (currently under offer)
Exmouth – four beach huts available – join the waiting list now

Save East Devon Beach Huts Facebook page today:

“Here is EDDC’s reply on beach hut waiting lists – it does not record individuals on multiple site lists:

Beer East Beach – 45
Beer East Shelf – 47
Beer West Beach – 35
Beer Far East – 48
Budleigh Salterton East huts – 69
Budleigh Salterton West huts – 71
Budleigh Salterton East sites – 86
Budleigh Salterton Police sites – 80
Budleigh Salterton Rolle sites – 87
Exmouth Foxholes – 27
Exmouth Queens Drive – 53
Seaton West Walk sites – 98
Seaton West Walk (former) huts – 98 (assumevthis duplicate of above)
Seaton East Walk sites – 68
Sidmouth Jacobs Ladder – 18″

So, 29 huts or chalets available on 23 May, 832 on the waiting list on 1 June and 832 people on the waiting list on 1 June

How can you have a press release telling people about 29 empty sites AND more than 800 on a waiting list on 1 June!

Sidmouth isn’t Brighton – but WE knew that!

So, in its wisdom, EDDC’s Asset Management Forum (Chairman, Geoff Pook) decided to compare East Devon with Brighton and to almost double rents for beach hut sites.

Result? 115 people gave up their huts (out of a total if 445), people on waiting lists declined offers and empty sites abounded. They had to resort to advertising on the huts in Sidmouth to get people to take them up.

If sites ARE taken up all it now proves is that:

A. Sidmouth – and Exmouth, Budleigh and Seaton are NOT Brighton.
B. The Asset Management has no idea what asset management is.
C. Only the really well-off can now afford to rent sites.

Thanks Councillor Pook, thanks for nothing.

Beach huts – what is a stronger word than omnishambles?

So, EDDC has a great idea. Squeeze beach hut site tenants until their pips squeak. Almost double their rents, increase them hugely again next year, stitch renters up so that many cannot reclaim the business rates charged (block rateable value for whole sites), shorten the season by a month and all under the guise of “long waiting lists” and ” only charging market rents” (one of the markets being Brighton).

What happens?



The yellow notices here in Sidmouth beg for tenants to come forward.

All sites now have between 10-25% plus vacant sites and no waiting lists.

Lost revenue, lost reputation and lost trust.

Well done Asset Management Group and its Chairman, Councillor Geoff Pook.

Making beach huts more available, or maximizing assets? You can’t have it both ways

Report from Scrutiny Committee meeting:

EDDC’s Deputy Chief Executive, Richard Cohen was directly in the firing line at last night’s Scrutiny Committee held at Knowle. He was obliged to admit that Ward members had not been contacted at all, before the new prices for beach huts were announced in the Councillors’ news sheet, ‘The Knowledge’ (January 2016). It became clear that only a cursory consultation had been made, with town clerks, about possible transfer of ownership of beach huts to local councils … but councillors themselves were left in the dark.

Richard Cohen defended his actions, saying he was working under a Cabinet directive. But the behind closed doors decision to increase beach hut hire charges by over 90% by 2017 in Beer, Budleigh Salterton, Seaton and Sidmouth, has made Ward members livid.

Cllr Marianne Rixson (IEDA, Sidmouth-Sidford) found this level of price hike “staggering”. Her detailed research had shown that comparable wooden beach huts at Lyme Regis had a lifespan of 10 years, and a replacement cost estimated at £600 per hut.

So was EDDC intending to replace the 20 year old Sidmouth beach huts with new ones before handing them over to the Town Council?”, she asked.

Cllr Maddy Chapman (Con, Exmouth-Brixington) twice called the price hike “outrageous”, saying “I do find the way this council goes about things is all over the place” , and adding “I don’t understand why you are trying to make so much money out of people who can’t afford to go abroad.”

Cllr Cathy Gardner (IEDA, Sidmouth Town) said two things had got “mixed up” in Richard Cohen’s claim – that EDDC wanted to make beach huts more available, and to maximize assets. “The two things are at odds”, she told him. “Social benefit has gone out of the window. EDDC should “stop trying to sound as if they are doing people a favour”.

At the suggestion of Cllr Val Ranger (IEDA, Newton Poppleford & Harpford) Committee, there will now be a formal recommendation to Cabinet that a structured process should be introduced at EDDC, for Ward Members to be involved in decision–making from a very early stage.

But a strong warning came from Scrutiny Chair, Cllr Roger Giles (Ind, Ottery St Mary), that recommendations by Scrutiny were not always mentioned by officers in their report for Cabinet. The consequences were clear from a recent instance of a Cabinet meeting which he had attended. Despite there being no less than nine Scrutiny recommendations to be addressed, not one was referred to during the course of the meeting.

So last night’s Meeting also recommended that officers’ reports should in future highlight Scrutiny recommendations, for Cabinet consideration.

Isn’t it high time that Scrutiny was taken seriously?

Source 18/03/2016

Budget: business rates plummet – but not for EDDC beach huts!

“The reduction in business rates will further reduce the ability of already cash-strapped local councils to pay for the social care that people with a learning disability desperately need,” said Jan Tregelles, the chief executive of the disability charity Mencap.

Announcing the plan, Mr Osborne said that business rates were “the fixed cost that weigh down on many small enterprises”.

“In total, half of all British properties will see their business rates fall or be abolished,” he pledged. “A typical corner shop in Barnstaple will pay no business rates. A typical hairdressers in Leeds will pay no business rates. A typical newsagents in Nuneaton will pay no business rates.”

The Independent

How odd then that EDDC is charging business rates on its much-raised beach hut charges! Can anyone shed light on this anomaly?

Exmouth seafront and beach huts: citizens meeting on 14 March at 7 pm

From Facebook:

… Hi Exmouth residents. You may have notices that Exmouth Town Council and EDDC are trying to destroy Exmouth Seafront by building a shopping an leisure complex on the actual seafront. Not only will it include another cinema, but apartments which locals will not be able to afford. On top of this they want to build a water sports complex in an area of the beach that has no swimming due to the strong current. It also means the loss of two blocks of Beach Huts on top of those of us who cannot afford the rise, so have had to give up our huts.

If you feel as strongly as I do about the complete incompetence of both councils on consultation over which many locals do not want, or will be able to be a part of there is a meeting at the

Telfer Building
at Exmouth Community College on
14th March at 7pm.
Please attend if you can to voice your concerns.

Beach huts, Dunkeswell and Chardstock: meeting of Scrutiny Committee on 17 March 6 pm

A most interesting agenda for the next Scrutiny Committee:

The beach hut omnishambles shambles on .. graphs, pie charts, illustrate how best to fleece beach hut renters …

A most interesting section on why Dunkeswell and Chardstock were added to the Local Plan at the last minute (and removed by the Inspector at the last second).  A tale of meetings between Diviani and Moulding (the latter unable to attend the meeting and having sent in a written report), of an eloquent developer coincidentally having the same views as Moulding and the unfortunate absence due to sickness of Diviani when the decision was made ….

What’s that smell?

Broadband suppliers to be forced to give automatic refunds for slow speeds or loss of service

Recall that EDDC is planning to go-it-alone for broadband distribution in East Devon. Will EDDC or the broadband provider pay the automatic compensation if the service goes down? If it is EDDC it would mean that all of us would end up paying for outages!

“Ofcom, the communications watchdog, has said BT and other operators will have to pay consumers and businesses when they are cut off or have slow broadband.

Mr Moore said: “I would welcome automatic payouts, but it depends on the amount of compensation. What we were offered was pittance. We are still being massively affected.”

Under the current system for telecommunications, customers have to make a claim for compensation rather than receive an automatic payout.

The new ruling is likely to be similar to automatic compensation schemes imposed on utility companies in which customers receive discounts when there is a problem.”

“Staggering rise in beach hut charges” says Councillor Rixon

Which weird and wonderful councillor had the idea to compare Seaton and Brighton!

At least Independent EDA Councillor Marianne Rixon saw through that one (it wax she who recently described the Local Plan as a “hokey-cokey – in, ou, in again, out again, in again).

Not that her common sense cut any ice with her Tory rivals – who probably have spent more time in Brighton anyway!


All View from digital editions can be acessec from their website.

Beach hut site increased rents = £521,631 per acre per year!

On a Facebook site, a Seaton beach hut renter has plotted a graph of price increases against cost-of-living increases. Here is a comment on that post:

“£574.80 per year for 48 sq ft [of beach pebbles] = £521,631 per year per acre. To put this in context, the price for an acre of prime agricultural land is c. £5,000-£6,000, so the price for wasteland would be substantially lower and for pebbled beach lower still. So for what EDDC are charging in rent for wasteland, you can buy 100 times that area and keep it forever.

I would presume that EDDC’s justification is “market rates”, and so long as people keep paying these exorbitant amounts, then they can quite reasonably claim that these are “market rates”.

The real answer is that the council leadership, prompted by their pals in government, see themselves more as a capitalistic organisation that needs to be market driven and take local residents for every penny they can rather than a body elected by local residents to serve local residents to provide public services for their benefit.

The only ways I can see to get EDDC to change will be to:

a) Vote with your feet on Beach Huts – stop renting and show the council that their rates are much higher than the market will support; and

b) Use your vote at the next county and district local government elections to elect councillors who see their role as benefiting local residents rather than supporting central government policy.”

Beach hut price rises hit the headlines

“To help us decide how much to increase our rents by, we compared our hire charges for beach huts sites in East Devon with those made by other local authorities (Torbay, Teignbridge, Torridge, Brighton & Hove, Adur & Worthing and Poole).”

Interesting that they use 3 local areas and then 3 of the richest areas in the south of England to make their decision!

Minutes and audio record of Cabinet meeting of 16 October 2015

Following requests, here are the minutes and audio recordings of the last Cabinet meeting (16 October 2015) – including the controversial debate about beach huts:

Beach huts: a very messy “compromise”

Some reading between the lines needed here:

Auctioning leases has NOT been ruled out when 5 year leases are offered ( it is unclear if leases apply to all sites or just Budleigh Salterton and Seaton sites).

Taking out the word “significant” from the original phrase ” significant increase” means nothing.

“Market rents” will be charged.

A typical EDDC non-transparent fudge that only benefits one side: EDDC.

Tenants beware!