People hiring out their beach huts in the district are being reminded that their licence is for personal use only.
As part of a review into its beach hut strategy, Tendring District Council (TDC) – which owns the sites of some of the huts in Brightlingsea – is writing to all of its hut licencees to remind them of the conditions of their licence. Local beach hut associations, including Brightlingsea's, have also been contacted.
Alex Porter, TDC's cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: “The existing licence is for personal use only and requires hut owners to inform us before they sell their hut – and that the new owner can only apply for a new licence if the hut meets the licence requirements.”
Owners will be be reminded not to make unauthorised improvements, with estate agents told to inform people buying huts that they are only purchasing the structure, not the site.
The number of huts available for hire has increased over the last few years and with some huts attracting rents of up to £50 per day for family days out or special celebrations, hiring out provides a useful income for some owners. However, this has resulted in complaints from other owners about large groups creating a lot of noise, with excessive drinking and rowdy behaviour.
In its spring 2022 newsletter, the Brightlingsea Beach Hut Association (BBHA) said: "We appreciate that people wish to celebrate special birthdays and family occasions but it can become tiresome if you face this repeatedly because your beach hut is close to one that is frequently let out in this way. We’ve heard of some people turning around and going home as soon as they arrived when they saw what’s happening."
Cllr Porter said: "We are just starting the process of revising the beach hut strategy, and as part of this we will be reviewing the existing licence scheme to see what improvements can be made. The views of beach hut associations are integral to this, and we will be asking for their involvement in the process."
The BBHA said that it had discussed TDC's letter at its last committee meeting and has written back with comments and suggestions and has also requested a meeting.