Eastern Edge: Majority of Lowestoft’s new beach huts empty

Eastern Edge: Majority of Lowestoft’s new beach huts empty

The majority of Lowestoft’s new £2.6million beach huts sat empty for most of the summer.

The 72 Eastern Edge cabins were hailed as “bold and truly unique” when they were unveiled last year, although opinion on their design was divided.

During last year’s busiest week, only 13 of the 36 cabins available for rent were booked for the week, while the latest figures show only 10 of the remaining 36 new cabins have been sold to date.

The beach shacks on the eastern edge officially opened last year. Image: Mick Howes (Image: Mick Howes)

A spokesman for East Suffolk Council said they “remain encouraged by the interest” shown in the beach huts following their mid-summer season launch.

Some huts were made available on June 18 to support the return of the First Light Festival, although the huts were officially made available for rent from the following month.

Only one booking was made in the first week, July 16, while none were booked for the following week, figures from this newspaper show.

East Anglian Daily Times: Dignitaries at the official opening of Eastern Edge, 72 modern beach huts on Lowestoft seafront.  Image: Mick HowesDignitaries at the official opening of Eastern Edge, 72 contemporary beachfront cottages on the Lowestoft waterfront. Image: Mick Howes (Image: Lauren De Boise)

Numbers increased from July 30th while August was the busiest time with 12, 13, 12 and seven bookings respectively in the following weeks.

In the following weeks, only one to two bookings per week were then made, although four bookings were made each week from October 29 to March 2023 and a fifth was added in the last few weeks.

A total of 26 cottages have been on the market since last month, with the 10 already sold fetching £25,000 plus VAT.

East Anglian Daily Times: The 72 Beach Huts on the East Rim.  Image: Mick HowesThe 72 beach shacks on the eastern edge. Image: Mick Howes (Image: Lauren De Boise)
The Council spokesman said: “Given the current economic conditions and the launch of these exciting new facilities only mid last summer season, we remain encouraged by the interest shown.

“Buying a beach hut is clearly a long term investment but sales have been encouraging and interest remains high with the last sale closing just before Christmas.

“The construction of Eastern Edge, following significant cliff stabilization work in the area, presented an opportunity not only to recoup investments in cliff protection, but also to enhance the visual appeal of this important area of ​​South Beach.

“The launch of Eastern Edge has more than doubled the supply of beach cabins for rent in Lowestoft and we are pleased to see that general rental bookings have remained steady since then and continue to be a popular attraction for locals and visitors to the area are .

“Throughout the high season, the weekly rental has been supplemented by an occasional rental of one, two or three days, which has met with a particularly positive response, while winter rentals have also been booked for the period between the end of October 2022 and the end of March 2023. In addition, 2022 was also confirmed seen a benefit for community use.

“The Eastern Edge Huts offer something completely unique for beach hut ownership and year-round rental, on the far eastern edge of the country, and are part of our broader ambitious plans to revitalize Lowestoft seafront and town center by attracting visitors and increase visitor attendance and boost the local economy.

“We are delighted to have these quality facilities available to those choosing to holiday in Lowestoft and we now look forward to marketing the cottages for sale and rent ahead of their first full summer season.”

The cabins have also been used for a number of community events over the past year, particularly in August.

These included the Disability Forum event earlier this month, due to be held again later this year, and an event hosted by Everyone Active.

Adnams sponsorship also enabled the council’s community team to offer cabins to give people in the area the opportunity to benefit from beach well-being throughout August.

The Southwold-based brewery also sponsored an event hosted by Suffolk Libraries to host a 10-day pop-up library event in August.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Jubilee Terrace Beach Chalets before demolitionThe Jubilee Terrace Beach Chalets before demolition (Image: Mick Howes)

The 72 beach huts were built to replace the 58 concrete Jubilee Terrace beach chalets which closed for safety reasons in the summer of 2016 and were demolished in July 2020.

The tops of the structures face east, reflecting Lowestoft’s position as the country’s most easterly location.

However, the design attracted national attention and divided opinion among locals.

Dozens of public comments were submitted to the council as part of the planning process, with views ranging from “terrible” and “too modern” to “beautiful” and “exactly what Lowestoft needs”.

The beach huts are available to hire all year round via the booking website www.hirebeachhuts.co.uk or by contacting Lowestoft Beach Office on 01502 586167 or email [email protected]

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