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New Forest Beach Hut Owners' Association


Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the huts belonging to Association members?
Huts are on four beaches at Calshot, Barton-on-Sea, Hordle Cliff, and Milford-on-Sea. Information boards maintained by the Association are on each beach.

How do I become a member of the Association?
If you own a hut, click the membership tab of this website and complete the online application form found there. Alternatively, download and print an application form, also found under the membership tab (or ask for one to be sent by post), complete and return it. Annual membership from 1 April each year is currently £5 per hut.

How do I buy or sell a beach hut within the New Forest District Council area?

Huts for sale are advertised in local media, local estate agents, on national beach hut websites, on the Hut Sales page of this website and by word of mouth. Our local beach representatives and NFDC are also often aware of huts up for sale, however huts are privately owned, and sales and purchases are managed by the owners. Prospective purchasers of beach huts within the New Forest District Council (NFDC) area need to know what they would get for the ever-increasing amounts of money which sellers are now able to demand. Caveat emptor, the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made should be applied. The following paragraphs are intended to help prospective purchasers with that checking process.

What you get and what the ongoing costs are.

The first thing to understand is that the beach hut sites within the NFDC area are all the property of the council. So, what is actually purchased in almost all cases is a hut, possibly together with its contents, and the right to have the seller’s licence from NFDC to place the hut on the site on a beach reassigned to the purchaser. There are no utilities connected to any beach huts in the NFDC area and though the huts can be accessed all year, overnight sleeping in them is prohibited.

NFDC charges the seller a transfer fee for the re-assignment of the licence to the new purchaser, as set out in the schedule of fees and charges, and charges buyers an annual Site Licence Fee, also as set out in the schedule of fees and charges. This schedule is revised annually.

NFDC Beach Hut Site Licence Fees 2024-25

As can be seen from the Schedule, hut owners who are not resident in the NFDC area are required to pay between 29% and 34% more for annual site licence renewal than NFDC residents do.

The seller is responsible for paying the transfer fee within 28 days of the completion of the sale and must also return the following form to advise NFDC of new owner details: 

Licence APPENDIX_1 - Ownership Transfer Form

Occasionally, NFDC sells the right to a licence to a site which has no hut installed; in this case, the purchaser will need to decide on a hut type, in keeping with others nearby, obtain planning permission and have a hut erected on the site.

Prospective purchasers should also be aware that in a minority of cases ‘Non-Domestic Business Rates’ will be payable annually in addition to the license fee. Authorities’ logic says that beach huts are not domestic as owners aren’t allowed to sleep in them overnight, therefore, Business Rates apply in place of Council Tax. But there is presently 100% relief for the first non-domestic property in an individual’s ownership. This relief currently ensures that there will be a charge for none of the local huts unless the owner is already getting the relief on another relevant property. The level of Business Rates is fixed annually by Government and the relief – although in place for several years, is not guaranteed to remain beyond the current fiscal year. Hut owners who receive a Business Rates invoice from NFDC should visit this page on the Council's website where further information and a refund claim form can be found: Business Rates & Relief

Checking site and hut suitability

Beach huts are, by their location, potentially vulnerable to the action of the sea, with the high-water mark being in many cases only a few metres away from the huts. Huts are commonly of timber construction or have timber frames and are of course located in a marine environment. Prior to purchase, a thorough check of timber condition, roofing material condition and of associated metal fixings and security devices is recommended. 

Storm damage to huts and erosion of beach materials leading to beach hut site instability have all been problems seen by some hut owners in the New Forest area in recent years. So, a prospective purchaser of a hut is advised to enquire of the seller and of other hut owners nearby the hut under consideration about these matters. Also strongly recommended is contact the NFDC coastal team by email: to enquire as to the beach (and cliff where present) stability in the area of the subject hut and the policy on coastal protection. This policy varies from beach to beach, so it is important to ascertain from NFDC the exact protection status of the beach concerned and of any specific concerns about erosion at the beach. Many documents on the subject can be found on this NFDC web page:

Decisions on coastal erosion mitigation are guided by Shoreline Management Plans, which are an important part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) strategy for flood and coastal defence. An outline of the contents of such plans can be found at: What is a Shoreline Management Plan?

Specifically, for Barton on Sea, Hordle Cliff and Milford on Sea, the coastal protection policy is based on the Poole & Christchurch Bays Shoreline Management Plan, SMP2 which was published in 2010:

Policies developed based on SMP2 can be found in:

Two Bays Policy Document 2011

In 2021, work on a major revision to the strategy in SMP2 covering Christchurch Bay from Hengistbury Head to the Western (shoreward) end of Hurst Spit was begun. The new strategy is being developed jointly by BCP Council, NFDC and the Environment Agency with specialist support from AECOM consultants. It is anticipated that the strategy will be completed and adopted in 2023. The strategy is intended to allow the identification of economically and environmentally viable approaches to address risks to people and assets and to develop coastal works schemes to reduce those risks. Delivery is, however, dependent on flood defence grant aid funding.

For Calshot, the coastal protection policy is based on North Solent Shoreline Management Plan, also published in 2010, which can be accessed by this link, leading to several documents describing the plan and its development:

Specific sections of the plan can be viewed in this document:  North Solent Coastal Protection Plan Booklet

with a summary in:   North Solent Management Plan Summary

Site Licence Conditions

Site Licence Conditions were updated by NFDC in November 2022. The document will be sent by NFDC to a new hut owner after purchase is completed and the purchaser must return a signed copy of page 9 to signify acceptance of the conditions to complete the licence transfer process. The document, also available on the NFDC Beach Hut page, can be found here: 

Beach Hut Site Licence Conditions

Potential hut purchasers need to understand all the restrictions and requirements of this Site Licence Conditions document before committing to purchase because failure to comply can result in a termination of the site licence and an order to remove the hut from the site.

Protecting the Investment in a Beach Hut

The financial outlay to purchase a beach hut is not a small amount of money and as stated earlier, huts are vulnerable to damage or destruction not only due to storms and heavy seas, but also by accidental or criminal damage.

As already indicated, part of the purchase price is for the right to have the site licence reassigned to the new owner and unless beach erosion or an owner’s failure to observe the license conditions causes NFDC to terminate the licence, the site licence remains, even if a hut is totally destroyed by other causes.

So New Forest Beach Hut Owners Association recommends that hut owners insure against the losses which can result from damage to a hut caused by weather, accident or criminal activity. The Association knows of four insurers who offer beach hut cover against these eventualities:

Insure Homes Limited:

Love Your Hut:

James Hallam Insurance Ltd:

Note that James Hallam Insurance Ltd., replaced Ryan Insurance Ltd., for beach hut insurance.

Towergate Insurance:

Note that this list is in alphabetical order, does not imply any particular preference and should be regarded as representative rather than exhaustive.

The insurers listed above offer a discount on premiums to NFBHOA members, another good reason for joining the Association.

In Conclusion

So, you have completed the purchase of your hut and joined the owners of the 750 or so huts in the New Forest area. Now is the time to sit back and enjoy your new home on the beach; fit your hut out to suit your tastes, but above all soak up the atmosphere and hopefully a little sunshine. Chat to your NFBHOA Beach Rep. and make sure you join the Association for the help your rep can give, not to mention for the insurance discount!

Where can I park?
Car parks are available near to the huts on all four sites. For more detail see the page about each beach. In addition to paying by meter, parking clocks are available from New Forest District Council for use in their car parks.

Can I rent a beach hut?
The huts on New Forest District Council land are for day use only. They can be accessed all year round but cannot be slept in overnight. However, their use is determined by the licence which owners have from the Council, and under the terms of this licence, no renting of huts is permitted in any circumstances.

How do I contact NFDC with a question?
For more information regarding beach huts or to report damage to a beach hut please contact New Forest District Council Customer Services on 023 8028 5000 or email