Hove: Increase in beach transfer fees approved by council

Beach huts in Hove
Transfer fees are sometimes called 'sales taxes'

An increase in transfer fees for beach hut owners in Hove has been approved by local councillors.

The transfer fees paid to Brighton & Hove City Council will increase from £82 to at least £1,678.

The rise is introduced as a new licence comes into effect on 1 April 2024, with councillors saying the rise is justified with rising prices for huts.

Labour Councillor Alan Robins defended the new licence and said it "provides more certainty" to owners.

He explained that under the current licence, the council could require owners to remove their hut without specifying a reason. But with the new licence, the council will only be able to require removal in the event of redevelopment of the land or for public safety.

'Horribly hard decisions'

A report on the new licence said that this increase in transfer fees - which are sometimes called 'sales taxes' - will be a figure equivalent to the greater of 10% of the sale price or four times the licence fee. The minimum transfer fee, based on four times the licence fee for this year, would be £1,678.

Conservative councillor Anne Meadows, who voted against the change, criticised the new licence terms.

"It's pay up or get out," he said.

However, Labour councillor Jilly Stevens said "some horribly hard decisions" had to be made by herself and her colleagues.

Ms Stevens added: "We're not picking on beach hut owners."

The council suggested that beach huts were selling for up to £35,000 each. But owners said that prices at the moment appeared to have dipped to about £22,000.

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