Lockdown: Leaseholders warned to stay out of their beach huts
PUBLISHED: 09:20 11 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:56 11 April 2020
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A council is urging leaseholders not to use beach huts or chalets during the coronavirus pandemic.
The advice comes after North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) was criticised by one leaseholder for “misleading” information.
Simone Hopwood, from Cromer, who has a beach hut on East Beach, wrote to NNDC asking for a rates freeze during the crisis, as she felt it would be irresponsible for her to use it.
She received this response: “The council is not able to stop the beach hut/chalet leaseholders from using their property; you have a five-year lease and a right to access.
“The leases and the rent permit you to place a beach hut on the land. You are not paying for the right to use your hut, you are paying to have a beach hut there.
“Although the council would ask you to adhere to the strict social distancing rules imposed by central government, you may well choose to visit your hut whilst taking your permitted daily exercise.”
She said: “I think it was a little bit irresponsible. Some people may get this information from the council and go to their beach huts. It’s a just a short walk from my home to my beach hut, but not everyone lives locally.
“My next-door neighbour at the beach hut is from Hertfordshire. It’s misleading and I hope it doesn’t encourage people to jump in their cars.”
NNDC leader Sarah Butikofer admitted the original information could be “misinterpreted” and said: “I have now spoken with the team at the council and our advice will be amended accordingly.
“Whilst the council is not able to insist beach hut/chalet leaseholders do not access their properties at the current time, we would strongly encourage them not to.”
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She added: “The council will be considering its beach hut charging policy for this season as soon as possible, but our focus at the moment has to be on delivering essential services, providing support and assistance to our more vulnerable residents and processing and paying grants to businesses who have been badly impacted by the current situation.
“We will make an announcement about our beach hut policy shortly.”