LESS than a third of the ‘overhyped’ designer beach pods overlooking the Boscombe Surf Reef have been sold.

Only 13 of the 43 have found buyers and a third estate agent, Bournecoast, has been appointed following on from Savills and Goadsby.

The price of a double pod has been slashed from £89,995 to £74,995 and councillors are calling for the price to fall even further.

The council had budgeted on selling the Wayne Hemmingway designed pods in two years.

It hoped to raise £2.9m and then use the money to cover the £1.8m overspend on the surf reef and Boscombe Overstrand project.

However, the 13 sales have raised £868,712.

Seven were sold in the first six months on the market, but since then sales have halved – only another six were sold during the last 12 months.

Cllr Roger West, a Lib Dem member of the reef task and finish group, said: “It’s very similar to the reef. They were overhyped.

“They were a brilliant idea but the price appears to be considerably more than the market can bear.

“It all comes down to poor management from the officers, not having the commercial expertise to drive a project like this forward.”

Cllr Anne Rey, leader of the independent group, said: “If they can’t get the money in, what else can they do but bring the price down?”

Phil Stanley Watts, Boscombe West, said: “I am sure there are people out there who want to buy them but the price needs to be right.”

Chris Saunders, business development manager, said: “The Overstrand beach pods are still generating interest and reservations are still being taken, albeit at a slower rate due to the current state of the economy.

“We have used the market leaders in the area to help sell the pods, but we have suffered due to the recession in the same way that other private house developers have.

“We are now working on a revised strategy ready for next spring.

“We have vast experience in selling beach huts with over £2.3m of sales achieved over the past 4-5 years and we are confident that with the added expertise of Bournecoast the sales of the Overstrand beach pods will pick up.”