Do Beach Huts Have Electricity in the UK?

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beach hut with solar lights

We all love a good beach holiday, especially with access to a beach hut. The sun, the sand, and the sea – what more could holidaymakers want? But how about power for your laptop or other essential devices? Well, it turns out that this is not always easy to come by in England. In fact, most councils do not offer electricity at their beach huts.

In short, most traditional beach huts don’t have electricity. They don’t require it as they are very basic structures and their main purpose is to store beach gear, change in and out of swimwear and provide shelter. Some bigger, purpose-built huts may have power. 

Because the rules are set by each council, the availability of mains electricity at beach huts varies by region and also depends on the type of hut.

This article will explore some of the reasons why this might be so and discuss what other options there are as a workaround.

Traditional beach huts

Beach huts are a common feature on the coast of England. They have been around even before Victorian times and provide shelter for people who want to spend time by the sea, as well as those who wish to change in and out of swimwear after returning from a day at the beach.

To this day, most councils do not offer electricity at these little structures simply because they simply don’t require it: they’re very basic small buildings – often measuring just 3m x 3m floor area – and serve an essential purpose but also happen to be great places to store beach gear.

Councils might reason that adding electricity will present safety hazards as well as cost too much to install and in maintenance fees because the huts are often in remote areas.

Locations where beach huts have electricity

Council regulations vary by location so it’s hard to say exactly what is allowed in any given situation without more information. Generally speaking, the council will have some degree of control over whether or not electricity can be installed if they own the land.

As an example beach huts at the following locations in England have some sort of power supply:

  • St Ives Bay chalets
  • Riviere Towans, Hayle
  • Burlington Chine, Swanage
  • Dunster beach chalets
  • Mudeford Sandbank

The majority of beach huts that have electricity inside are bigger than traditional ones, and often available for rental.

Other considerations

But even when you have permission to install electricity, there are some logistical considerations that might make it difficult. For example, your hut will need a power source of some sort—either an extension cord running from one of the huts with electricity or a solar panel installed on top of your roof. You’ll also want to think about the safety and security of that cord or panel.

And there are environmental considerations to take into account too.

But what about huts that already have power? The truth is beach huts that do have electricity tend to come at a high price point. You will pay significantly more for a beach hut with electricity than without. The cost is not always worth it, but if you are interested in working from within your hut, or just simply love getting away from it all and going back to basics, it could be a great option.

How do you get electricity to your beach hut?

Again, this depends on the location of your beach hut. As discussed before, if you are in a council-owned spot, then it’s most likely impossible to get electricity installed without permission. However, if you own your hut outright or are renting, then you may be able to get power connected to your hut. 

Some councils will require an application for permission to be submitted before electricity can be installed, while others have different processes in place.

Other ideas for providing electricity at your beach hut could be popular off-grid solutions, such as renewable energy and deep cycle battery stores combined with an inverter. Then use energy efficient LED devices to make that power last.

Generators are unlikely to be accepted as a way to create electricity at beach huts, which can create safety hazards as well as noise pollution. However, thanks to advancements in technology there are now silent generators available, which don’t pose as great a risk to the surroundings and quieter than the diesel ones.

Solar panels at beach huts

Solar panels are a great way to generate electricity – the installation of which would probably have to be arranged by yourself. The amount of power generated will depend on a few factors, for example, how much sun your plot gets in a day and where you place them (trees block out sunlight) and the efficiency of the panels.

If you install solar panels yourself then make sure that no one has an issue with their view being obstructed because this may have further implications.

One of the main problems with installing solar panels is that they need to be in direct sunlight for them to work properly –  this is not always possible in a place like England!

In addition, some beaches might fall under coastal protection legislation while others do not – these guidelines determine what type of development is allowed on the land. So beach huts would have to adhere to these regulations too.

Beach hut owners could be subject to a site-specific development agreement as well, which may include design restrictions such as height, colour, and materials.

Powering your beach hut

A beach hut is a place of relaxation and there are many reasons why you might want to add some modern luxuries such as electricity. However, the rules can be strict on what type of power supply you’re allowed; off-grid systems with batteries and energy-saving products could be a solution in huts in England. Always check with the local authority if you are planning on making modifications to your hut.

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