Buyers queue from 6.30am to snap up £20,000 beach huts
- Credit: Aldreds
Early birds queued from 6.30am yesterday to be among the first to snap up one of Gorleston's new £20,000 beach huts.
Hours before they went on sale staff at Aldreds in Gorleston saw buyers lining up outside its high street shop, many with their own chairs, for their chance to secure one of the 3m by 2m wooden cabins.
Aldreds director Dan Crawley said some ten huts had been sold by 9.05am with more deals being sealed all the time.
He said: 'I am not at all surprised. We did not encourage people to queue but we did not quite know what demand was going to be. The guy at the front of the queue had heard rumours that people wanted to buy four or five.
'We are pleased. I hoped to sell between ten and 15 in the first week which is obviously what we will achieve.
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'We released them through the office at 9am and needed to be very open with the process. It was on a first come, first served basis and the only way you can do that is physically in person.'
He said the first ten had all been sold to local 'baby boomers' with the furthest buyer coming from Caister.
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Twenty huts are being sold in the first release with more becoming available as contracts are exchanged.
While most people have broadly welcomed Great Yarmouth Borough Council's bid for beach huts on Gorleston's lower prom, some on social media have complained about the £20,000 price tag saying it's beyond the pocket of most locals.
Mr Crawley, however, said the prices compared well with other resorts like Felixstowe where huts without a veranda were several deep from a shingle beach and similarly priced.
He added: 'They are not too expensive when you look at what beach huts cost in East Anglia, which is between £15,000 and £50,000.
'It is fantastic. You are making a beautiful part of Gorleston better, there will be more people down there and more people spending money.'
The borough council gave itself planning permission for 70 huts close to the beach in the summer.
Once a utility block is complete, the beach huts will be constructed on site.
Carl Smith, the deputy council leader, said: 'This initial demand really underscores both the popularity of beach huts in general and of Gorleston in particular, with its lovely golden sands and famous Edwardian seafront.
'This is a really positive start to the sales, and we encourage anyone with enquiries to get in touch directly with Aldred's Gorleston office.'