BEACH hut tenants are facing significant fee increases next year which will deliver an additional net £300,000 for the council despite plans to invest more money back into the service.

All hutters would see their respective charges go up between 10 and 26 per cent for 2023/24, with the majority falling somewhere in between these two figures.

The proposed schedule set out in a cabinet report shows how fees for huts will be harmonised across eight different price bands within five years.

The fees for 11 huts at Gundimore beach and 128 huts at Friars Cliff in Mudeford face the largest 26 per cent increased from £770 to £970 next year.

The smallest increase of 10 per cent relates to two premium Shore Road in Poole (£5,775 to £6,350), 12 supersize huts at Branksome Chine (£3,593 to £3950), 192 huts at Sandbanks (£2,728 to £3,000) seven huts listed as Bournemouth East and Bournemouth West annuals (£2,365 to £2,600), three huts located as Branksome Chine sites (£1,570 to £1,730) and 119 huts across Boscombe West and Bournemouth East sites (£1,260 to £1,390).

The report ahead of the cabinet meeting on December 14 by head of seafront services Anthony Rogers says: “A baseline increase has been applied of five to 10 per cent per annum however, in many cases percentage increases are higher due to harmonisation or value assessment.

“In recognition of the significant differences that currently exist in rental fees between BCP areas and to support the most affected beach hut licensees, the process of harmonisation has been spread over a two – five year period.”

The pricing strategy proposed has been based on market demand, quality of access, local facilities and maintenance liabilities, the report says. It reduced the number of price bands and raises lower prices to match higher prices within each band.

The 15 per cent early payment discount offered to some licensees in Christchurch is set to be discontinued in a phased process dropping to 10 per cent next year, five per cent in 2024/25 and stopped in 2025/26.

Cabinet members are being asked to agree to allowing all BCP Council residents to join the waiting list for standard huts and sites and to approve the five-year pricing strategy.

Officers are also requesting backing for a financial plan to invest additional income from rental fees, transfers and long-leases to improve service standards and enable further investment in seafront assets.

This would include increased beach hut operational staff, more money on for maintenance and an overhaul of the IT system.

If approved, it is currently forecast the net benefit to the council would be £309k next year and a total of £5.56m across the next five years.