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Beach Hut Lettings Policy Consultation

Borough of Poole would like to hear residents’ views about proposed changes to the Beach Hut Lettings Policy.

Poole has 1,061 beach huts along its main beaches at Sandbanks, Shore Road, Flaghead, Canford Cliffs, Branksome Chine and Branksome Dene.  Of these, 962 huts are let to Poole residents using an ongoing annual licence agreement.  Each licence is renewed on an annual basis until terminated (usually by the tenant) with no maximum term.  Between 40 and 60 huts become available each year and are offered to those on the waiting list. 

There are 339 people on the waiting list. The list was closed in 2007 due to approximate waiting times of up to 10 years.  The length of time does depend on the hut requested, as some are more popular than others.

Given the long waiting list, a Beach Hut Working Party was formed to consider ways to reduce the wait for people wanting a hut and making huts more accessible to a higher number of residents.  The Working Party’s proposals presented to Cabinet in December 2011, included introducing a maximum period of five years, or ten years if a higher fee is paid and giving three year’s notice for people already with huts.  These proposals are now the subject of consultation.

The council also provides 94 short-term lets for people wanting huts for shorter periods, such as a week. Although changing a small number of long-term annual let huts to short-term use doesn’t shorten the waiting list, this does make huts more accessible to more people, in particular those who cannot afford an annual let hut, and so the Working Party felt this should continue. They also considered that building more huts would help.

Information has been sent to current beach hut tenants, people on the waiting list and those people who rented a short-term beach hut in 2011 that we have address details for. The consultation is open to all residents and the council would like as many people as possible to give their views.  If you would like to have a beach hut, have hired a beach hut, or simply have an opinion about the letting of beach huts in Poole, visit boroughofpoole.com/beachhutsconsultation to have your say. Consultation closes on 30 April 2012.

Councillor Judy Butt, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Public Engagement and Participation, Borough of Poole, said: "I would encourage residents to take part in this consultation and share their thoughts with us on the proposals. This is our resident's opportunity to let us know how they feel and how we can best serve them to reach a positive and workable outcome. All the feedback we receive from the consultation will be considered in full and will assist us when developing our final proposals to take back to the Cabinet in the summer."

The 114 sites in Hamworthy Park and 4 sites at Branksome Chine Beach, where tenants own and maintain wooden huts and are granted a licence for the site only, are not currently included in the proposals.

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