Beach life: thousands rush to join waiting list for beach huts in exclusive Sandbanks in Dorset

Local council website crashes after residents of Poole rush to add their name to a waiting list to rent a Sandbanks beach hut

Oh us Brits, we do love to escape to the coast… and a lazy day by the sea is even better if you have your own beach hut to retreat to.

But residents of Poole in Dorset wanting to rent a beach hut on the exclusive Sandbanks peninsula have had to be patient, as the waiting list has been closed since 2007.

However that changed last week when the waiting list reopened – and the council was so inundated with enquiries that its website crashed under the strain of web traffic.

The Borough of Poole council said that, while 3,500 people tried to sign up, just 223 were successful.

An apologetic tweet from the Borough of Poole council’s Twitter
account, read: ‘Our system has been unable to cope with the number of
people trying to sign up to the beach hut list. We will post when it is
fixed. Sorry.’

It costs £25 to sign up to the waiting list, which is only open to Poole residents, but even those who made it on to the list could have a two-year wait to rent a beach hut.

A beach hut here offers a slice of life on a beautiful Dorset peninsula, where properties fetch some of the highest prices in the UK – a bungalow could cost millions – and locals rub shoulders with celebrities such as ex-footballer Jamie Redknapp.

‘We knew that reopening Poole’s beach hut waiting list after seven years would be popular,’ says Judy Butt, a cabinet member at Poole council, ‘but the demand we received at midday was higher than we could have predicted.’

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Still, it’s not the first time we’ve heard of people jostling for much-loved beach huts. In the right location, they can generate a lot of, erm, interest. In Dorset last year a granddad camped out for SIX DAYS to be first in line for a beach hut at Avon beach. Now that’s commitment…

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