IT HAS become quite the thing to have a beach chalet, but those wanting to let one on the Yorkshire coast may soon have to dig deeper into their pockets.
In fact, such is demand, councillors in Scarborough will meet later this week to discuss a price increase which could see the annual cost of letting a small place by the sea increase by around nine per cent.
If backed, the annual letting charges of some of the chalets would increase to almost £1,000.
Officers say there is currently an “extensive” waiting list for the chalets and they think that the current fees are below market value.
Members of Scarborough Borough Council’s tourism and culture portfolio will meet on Friday to discuss increasing charges for the hire of chalets at Scarborough’s South Bay, Filey and Whitby.
The council’s leisure services manager, Andrew Williams, says in a report to members: “It is necessary to have an annual increase in fees and charges to offset the inflationary costs of running the service and to contribute towards the council’s overall budget strategy.
“The beach chalets have extensive waiting lists for annual lets.
“This demonstrates over demand for the chalets and an indication that the current fees for the chalets are below the market value.
“As a result the increase of approximately nine per cent is proposed.”
However, Mr Williams adds in his report: “Increases in these fees and charges, if unreasonable, could be a deterrent to users.”
The proposals to be debated by councillors would see charges for some chalets on Scarborough’s South Bay increase from a recommended maximum of £892.80 to a recommended maximum of £970 from April this year.
They are open in Filey and Scarborough from the beginning of April until the end of September and in Whitby from the beginning of May until the end of September.
Councillors will also consider increasing fees and charges at Filey Brigg Caravan Park by an average of about 3.5 per cent.
A report to be considered by councillors says the increased charges will help council chiefs meet the authority’s savings targets for 2014/15.
Town halls are braced for yet more swingeing cuts over the coming years as the Government continues to slash spending and last year the authority warned at the time it then expected to have to enforce savings of almost £5m in the coming years, placing more services under threat.
Members of Scarborough Borough Council’s cabinet were told at the time it was predicted the local authority will have to find savings of more than £4.9m in 2014/15 and 2015/16.
Senior council officers have admitted the need to balanced budgets represents a “huge challenge”.