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HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

Other local authority activities: miscellaneous (A to E): beach huts

Beach huts may be provided under section 232 of the Public Health Act 1936 which states:

‘A local authority may provide huts or other conveniences for bathing on any land belonging to them or under their control, and may make charges for the use thereof.’

The law neither requires local authorities to provide beach huts, nor does it state that if they do they must do so in a particular way. Although section 231 allows local authorities to make byelaws they are regulatory in nature, such as prohibiting anybody from building a beach hut without permission. It does not mean that the operation of beach huts is under a legal regime unique to local authorities.

Consequently provision of beach huts by a local authority is a business activity and standard rated as confirmed by the Tribunal decisions in the cases of H T Shearing (VTD 16723) and Poole Borough Council (VTD 7180).

See also the Land and Property manual (V1-8) (external users can find the guidance at…