The battle for Wiggle Cliffs: Row over lease on ‘Enid Blyton wooden huts’ with no electricity erupts

A David and Goliath-style battle between a group of pensioners and their local councils has erupted over their ‘Enid Blyton wooden holiday huts’.

The elderly leaseholders of the 81 chalets on Wiggle and Treninnow Cliffs in Cornwall are locked in legal discussion over the properties after Plymouth and Cornwall City councils cut leases on them.

OAPs – some of whom had been born in the little huts – had been allowed to take 21-year renewals since 1957 on the structures.

But this year negotiations over any long-term extension on the lease collapsed after ground rents were increased from £1,100 to £4,800.

It prompted the councils to tell them they could only renew for one year, insisting ‘public finances under immense strain’ meant they could not ‘subsidise holiday chalet lets’. 

It meant the elderly users of the huts – which have no electricity and some only accessible by a rope – faced effective eviction if they did not sign by today’s deadline.

One 65-year-old – too scared to be named – said he agreed to his one year lease ‘out of pure terror’ they would lose something so treasured by the family.

The huts – if later reclaimed by the council – are predicted to have increased in value by at least 30 per cent.

The quaint wooden huts have been in families for generations, pictured here in the 1930s

The quaint wooden huts have been in families for generations, pictured here in the 1930s

The quaint wooden huts have been in families for generations, pictured here in the 1930s

The buildings had been subject to long lease renewals previously but this has now changed

The buildings had been subject to long lease renewals previously but this has now changed

The buildings had been subject to long lease renewals previously but this has now changed

OAPs - some born in the little huts - had been allowed to take 21-year renewals since 1957

OAPs - some born in the little huts - had been allowed to take 21-year renewals since 1957

OAPs – some born in the little huts – had been allowed to take 21-year renewals since 1957

At an average of £200k a chalet, they could net Plymouth and City Council approximately £16.2million.

In further rules imposed by the council, it said lease holders would be able to rent out their holiday chalets to pay for the massive increase.

But children were banned for the first time with no explanation, making them useless for families on vacation, who are also likely to expect basic amenities such as electricity.

Many of the residents – too scared to speak out for fear of not being offered lease renewals – said they felt ‘bullied’ into signing.

One said: ‘Plymouth City Council are bullying elderly and vulnerable people into signing leases that mean they could lose these absolute family treasures and heirlooms.

‘These are not holiday homes, they are literally little wooden huts where at least one of us was born. Some people have to use a rope to get down the cliffs to get to their hut – it is like something out of an Enid Blyton novel.

‘We have used these homes for generations and have always had long leases. But the council has just openly admitted – because of the pandemic – we want more money and if you don’t agree to all of our terms without negotiation you are out on your ear.’

It has led to allegations the council wants the tenants out so it can capitalise on the properties and land. 

The huts have no power, with many still using candles, and many still use outside toilets.

The huts have no power, with many still using candles, and many still use outside toilets.

The huts have no power, with many still using candles, and many still use outside toilets.

 

The small wooden huts

The small wooden huts

Stunning sea views from the huts

Stunning sea views from the huts

The small wooden huts offer stunning sea views and could be worth a lot of money

The huts have no power, with many still using candles, and many use outside toilets. 

A spokesperson on behalf of Plymouth City Council and Cornwall Council said: ‘Plymouth City Council and Cornwall Council jointly own the land at Treninnow and Wiggle Cliff, which forms part of the Mount Edgcumbe Country Park estate and includes 81 chalet plots.

‘These chalet plots are currently leased to tenants for recreational use only on 21-year leases which end on 28th September this year.

‘Though there is no automatic right of renewal for tenants following the expiry of the leases, the councils have offered new lease arrangements to the tenants on market terms after commissioning an external assessment.

‘All local authorities have a statutory duty under the Local Government Act 1972 to obtain best consideration in their property dealings and the new market terms, including the rent levels.

‘At a time when public finances are under immense strain councils are not in a position to be able to subsidise holiday chalet lets.

‘All 81 of the tenants have advised the councils that they wish to remain in possession of the plots and enter into the new one year lease terms offered, demonstrating that the market terms offered are fair and reasonable.

‘The permitted use of the chalet plots has not been changed in the new leases and remains for recreational or holiday use only for not more than eleven months of the year. None of the plots can be used as a main residence or dwelling.

‘There is no restriction on the visitors tenants can have to their individual plots whilst they are in occupation including children. The plots are however not to be used by tenants as a main residence or dwelling.

‘In the new leases the councils have however widened the permitted use to allow short term holiday lettings. It should be stressed that tenants are under no compulsion to secure such short term holiday lettings.

Should they however wish to secure financial benefits in doing so, the new leases permit this during four months of the year and limited to a maximum of two adults (and no children) at any one time.

‘The income from the recreational/ holiday lettings supports the running of the Mount Edgcumbe Country Park for the benefit of Plymouth and Cornwall residents and all those members of the public who chose to visit this beautiful and unique location.’ 

Link hienalouca.com

Advertising:

Tips to Find Low Priced Luxury Holiday Package Deals Fast

For most families, it has already been a common practice to spend the Holiday season in a foreign location. This is caused by the aviation market changes which have given a lot of benefits for people who travel a lot. Airfares going to different tourist destinations are becoming more inexpensive. What does this mean? If there is a perfect time to purchase luxury holiday package deals, now it the right time! Based on the market trend nowadays, you can save both money and time when you go for a luxury holiday. There are countless offers that combine travel and accommodation in one package which is a lot cheaper than getting separate deals. Aside from that, it is also risky to individually book the services that you need for the vacation. You might end up missing out on some important details of the trip. Unlike when you take advantage of luxury holiday package deals, you can be sure that everything is organized meticulously and according to what you really need. Nonetheless, you would still need to carefully select the package that would fit your needs. Review the following tips in getting packages that are reasonably priced. · Normally, luxury tour packages include accommodation, flight travel and transportation to individual tourist destinations. It would be best to choose the complete package so you won’t have to worry about other vacation elements. In addition to that, these are the packages that have the biggest discounts. · You can get big mark down prices, if you will purchase more packages. It is not a bad idea to share the wonderful moment with your loved ones. By doing so, you would not only enjoy, you will also save more money. You can even use your savings for other activities on your vacation. · It would be best to know how much you are willing to pay for the luxury tour packages. You can already work around your budget. You have to stick to your budget. If not, you might end up spending a lot and you will be left with less money for your vacation. · Prices may vary depending on the destination of the tour. You can do a research about places that are attractive yet inexpensive. There are thousands of destinations and you just have to choose wisely. · There are packages that include recreational activities. This means that you are paying for all the activities when you purchase these packages. The right thing to do is to make sure that the activities that are included would be the ones that you really enjoy. There is no sense in paying for activities that will not really make your vacation memorable. If you are going with friends, you should also consider their preferences so that you can be sure that everyone will enjoy the trip. There are other ways on how you can be sure that you are getting the best deal for your luxury holiday vacation. No matter how you choose to do it, you have to get adequate information about the packages. This will help you determine whether it is worth the price.

(Total views: 37 Time, 1 visits per day)

Leave a Reply