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Beach hut owners persuade New Forest District Council to impose smaller hike on annual licence fees

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BEACH hut owners successfully persuaded New Forest District Council to make a smaller increase in their annual site charges.

Currently, owners at Barton, Hordle Cliff, Milford and Calshot and pay a licence fee of between £300 and £800 per year depending on the size of the hut and its location.

The cost had been set to go up by 12% for 2022/23 but that was described as "excessive" by the New Forest Beach Hut Owners Association, said an NFDC report.

Hordle Cliffs beach huts
Hordle Cliffs beach huts

Instead, it was agreed to implement a hike of 10%, which has now been signed off by Cllr Steve Davies, NFDC cabinet member for environment and coastal services.

The estimated additional income for the council across all beach sites is between £38,000 and £57,000, the report added.

It explained that last year, the council applied a reduced VAT rate of 5% to the fee, which was implemented by HMRC as a temporary measure due to the impact of the pandemic.

In September 2021 the temporary rate was revised up to to 12.5% until 31st March 2022.

The report said the temporary rate of 12.5% should revert to the usual 20% VAT rate. However, if invoices were raised before 1st April, the 12.5% rate would apply.

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