DEMAND was so high that 147 Poole people successfully applied for a beach hut at Branksome Chine within the first 50 minutes of the list opening.

Borough of Poole had anticipated a high demand as it opened the fifth of its seven waiting lists for beach huts and Tweeted to thank people for their patience.

However, those who paid their £25 to join the Branksome Chine list, now 249 strong, face an average waiting time of 11 years.

But this is far from the longest wait, with those who signed up for Sandbanks, the first of the waiting lists to open, facing an average of 22 years before being able to hire a hut, with 313 on the list.

The council’s website crashed under the strain shortly after the Sandbanks list opened on January 14, receiving 3,448 visits within the first hour.

Cllr Judy Butt, left, cabinet portfolio holder for public engagement and participation said: “We knew demand levels would be high when we reopened the waiting list as beach huts on Poole’s prestigious beaches have always been extremely popular.

“Following the issues we experienced with our website when the first list at Sandbanks opened we have worked very hard to ensure that this does not happen again and have been pleased with the response from the public.”

And despite waiting lists creeping ever higher, there are still hundreds of people willing to sign up for the chance of being able to hire a hut overlooking the golden sands.