Councillors raise chalet concerns

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CONCERNS have been raised that Scarborough families could be priced out of the market when renting beach chalets along the Yorkshire coast.

The issue was raised at yesterday’s meeting of Scarborough Council’s Cabinet when members were discussing chalet provision in the borough.

They were considering whether to opt for a preferred bid, out of several received during a tendering process, or whether for devise an in-house business plan to improve provision.

Cllr John Ritchie said he had an interest in beach chalets because his family spent 17 years on the waiting list to be able to rent one annually.

He said: “I’d like to ask Brian Bennett and David Jeffels if they are confident that the plans they have for the chalets would not prove too costly for local families to access the facilities.”

Cllr Ritchie added that there was a lot of anger among people who used the chalets in the North Bay area after a recent announcement.

He said: “This will see significant rent rises and another 60 chalets taken away.”

Scarborough council currently manages a number of beach chalets including 39 in Scarborough South Bay, 140 in Whitby and 36 in Filey.

In addition there are a number of independently owned and managed huts which were developed as part of the North Bay Sands development.

A report considered by the Cabinet stated that the council was approached by an organisation that was interested in refurbishing the existing chalet provision.

Cllr David Jeffels, the portfolio holder for tourism, said that the chalets in the area were a much treasured asset.

He added: “This is an opportunity for us to enhance the borough. There is a waiting list for chalets and our officers believe there is a potential to develop our own chalet service.”

Brian Bennett, the council’s head of tourism, said a number of external bids had been received but there was an opportunity for the council to develop the service “in-house”.

He said: “We need to do a detailed examination of the chalets to bring them up to standard. We have got a range of chalets in a range of conditions. There would be a reasonable return on the chalet investment.”

Mr Bennett added that beach chalets in Scarborough’s South Bay were listed structures.

It was decided to contact the various bidders to see if their bids were final and also to explore developing the service in-house with a decision is expected to be presented to Cabinet by September.