Agenda item

Annual Review of Beach Huts and Chalets 2022





Options considered:

This report provides an annual review of Beach Hut and Chalets service, for a 12 month period following the previous 2020/21 review.


Not applicable.




It has been a challenging period since the 2018 Beach Hut and Chalet review was completed due to the pandemic and various lock downs that initially preventing bookings and then resulted in an increase of staycations and tourism to the area. 


The income during this period of review has seen an increase on the previous year, however with the expected economic challenges facing the tourism sector with the cost of living crisis that is likely to see this challenging period continue and could result in less weekly let income over the next review period.






Reasons for



To receive and note the update and consider any necessary recommendations or actions.


To maintain effective service provision.



(Papers relied on to write the report, which do not contain exempt information and which are not published elsewhere)









Cabinet Member(s)

Cllr Eric Seward

Ward(s) affected

Cromer, Mundesley, Overstrand and Sheringham

Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Renata Garfoot, Asset Strategy Manager tel: 01263 516086. Email.





Cllr E Seward – Portfolio Holder for Finance and Assets introduced the report and informed Members that monitoring continued following a review undertaken by the Committee in 2018. The EASM stated that the past year had been a challenging period for beach huts and chalets as a result of the lasting the impacts of Covid-19 and associated lockdown periods, but the service was turning a corner with chalet refurbishment underway and advertising increased for weekly bookings. She added that occupancy had increased to 40% for weekly bookings from 28% when the initial review was undertaken. It was noted that annual-let beach huts and chalets occupancy remained very strong with an extensive waiting list still in place. The EASM reported that nine new beach hut plots had been added this year, though it had been difficult to find appropriate sites, with many beach front locations reserved for parking spaces. She added that a small increase in income was expected in 2023 across weekly lets, though it was not yet known how cost of living pressures would impact the service.


Questions and Discussion


      i.        Cllr L Withington referred to the annual-let waiting list, and asked whether consideration could be given to prioritising local residents, who would be more likely to use the huts throughout the year. The EASM replied that this issue had been raised before, but placing restrictions on the waiting list would be unlikely to have any meaningful impact, given that most people on the waiting list were North Norfolk residents. She added that it was also important to note that despite the high number of residents on the waiting list, they did not appear to make use of vacant weekly-let beach huts.


     ii.        Cllr H Blathwayt stated that there was a shortage of beach huts in the East of the District, and asked whether there were any plans to increase the provision at locations such as Clink Road car park in Sea Palling. The EASM replied that this site had been considered, but the decision had been taken not to move forward as a high number of parking spaces were required during peak periods. Cllr H Blathwayt accepted that the car park was well used, but suggested that beach huts and chalets may be a better use of the space, given the shortage in the East of the District.


    iii.        Cllr J Toye referred to requests from residents to consider local usage during quieter winter months, and noted that whilst this had been given consideration, he asked that it be kept under review, given the pressures placed on local amenity assets by tourism during the summer season.


   iv.        Cllr V Holliday referred to comments on additional beach huts and suggested that there were already too many car parks on the coast and the Council should be discouraging increased car usage. She added that using the Council’s car parks for beach huts would be a more environmentally friendly approach and should be encouraged. Cllr V Holliday asked whether the balance between annual and weekly lets was right, given the comparison between an extensive annual-let waiting list and low weekly-let occupancy levels. The EASM replied that there was a significant disparity in income between the two offerings, as annual-lets produced less income per plot, and even with lower occupancy levels weekly-lets still generated more income. She added that as a result, it would be a difficult decision to increase occupancy but reduce income, even if changing weekly to annual lets would potentially lead to 100% occupancy. It was suggested that it may be useful to undertake analysis on the full effects of changing the balance between weekly and monthly lets in the future.


     v.        It was clarified that voids within the context of the report referred to vacancies for weekly-lets, which stood at approximately 60%. She added that it would be difficult to expect to achieve 100% occupancy, given that the data took into account winter and out of season occupancy levels. It was noted that block bookings for the off-season would be trialled this year and it was hoped that they would improve winter occupancy levels. Cllr N Housden suggested that another option may be to reconsider the pricing structure to boost bookings during winter. The EASM replied that the Council had previously promoted a weekly winter rate of £21, though this had not covered the management costs of bookings and had also failed to increase occupancy. The Chairman noted that it was important to consider net income alongside occupancy rates, and suggested that boosting occupancy at the expense of income may not be the best solution.


   vi.        Cllr S Penfold stated that he was supportive of boosting beach hut and chalet numbers in the East of the District.


  vii.        The Chairman noted that there were two potential recommendations to consider relating to the increase of beach hut and chalet provision in the East of the District, and the consideration of a scheme of local prioritisation. The recommendations were proposed by Cllr A Varley and seconded by Cllr L Withington.




1.    To receive and note the update.


2.    To recommend that consideration is given to increasing the provision of beach huts and chalets in the East of the District.


3.    To recommend that consideration is given to a local prioritisation scheme for the annual-let beach hut and chalet waiting list.


Supporting documents: