A General Letter to our Members

Posted on 5th January, 2013


Herne Bay Beach Hut Owners Association

20 School Lane

 Herne Bay



01227 361633


 5th January 2013


 It is time to inform you of several important matters.  Things have been happening rather quickly over the last couple of months.

 At the end of November our friends at Tankerton held their AGM.During that meeting the members were brought up to date regarding the state of the discussions regarding the Proposed Lease for the sites upon which our Huts stand. As you will be aware the Councils recommendation is that we should be granted a lease that has a life of six years that may be renewed. That sounds fine except that the proposal is that we may only renew the lease five times making a total life of 30 Years.


Richard Griffiths, the Council officer in charge of these negotiations tells us that in about year 25 they will start negotiations for the renewal of that Lease. Whilst that would be honourable we have grave doubts about the Corporate Memory of the Council over a period of twenty five years.


During the period of our lease we will continue the right of free transfer of our huts when we wish to pass them on to a family member. Also, should we wish to sell our huts then the present charge of a fee of Five times the annual rent, will continue.  The problem is that the Council is intending to give a new lease that will end on the same date as the original lease was due to expire. This we find unacceptable. Presently we have a lease that has value. If the leases are renews on the principal proposed then they will gradually reduce in value. That has the danger that the Huts become unsalable and then people may cut back on the standards of maintenance, which is the factor that can make the line of Huts so attractive. 


You will not be surprised to hear that the meeting unanimously rejected these proposals.


So what are we doing? Well, a number of things have happened in these few weeks.


You will have seen the Newspapers reports in the Herne Bay Times and also in the Whitstable Times. It is possible that you heard me talking on Radio Kent, recorded at a ridiculously early time on a very drafty day on the Beach. To get a dozen people out at 7:30 on such a morning was amazing and greatly appreciated.


 More substantively, a new joint committee has been formed to completely review the situation and to create a new strategy to completely regenerate our negotiating stance over such important matters.   This new committee has met several times and an incredible number of emails have crisscrossed Kent in our discussions about all kinds of relevant matters.


As you know R Griffiths wrote to all Hut Owners at the beginning of December. That letter attempted to advise Hutters of other proposals from the Council regarding Rents and charges for the coming year. Many of you have written to object to the many extortionate charges proposed and some of these ideas are frankly absurd.

We greatly appreciate the effort involved in those responses particularly at this time of year.


 Best wishes


 Alan Ratford


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