Nick Rosen | |
West Wittering beach huts
Like a Rolling Sloane

Rolling Stone Keith Richards spends most of his time in Connecticut, but now he has bought himself a disconnecti-hut a beach hut to be precise, in West Wittering,

Richards paid 60,000 for the modest property on the seafront of the genteel West Sussex resort. Loud music is banned, and there’s no electricity or running water, reports the Daily Mail. It is especially popular with the well-heeled, and this week upmarket magazine Country Life will name it as Britain’s best family beach.

Demand is high for the 156 weather-beaten huts – many painted in shades of blue, green, ochre and pink – which sit on a private estate running, unusually, right down to the water’s edge.

Would-be buyers pay 20 a year to remain on a waiting list, and when a hut becomes available they are invited to submit a sealed bid.

Peter Morton, West Wittering Estate plc’s managing director, said most bids were between 25,000 and 40,000.

“There’s no obvious logic about the price people pay,” he added. “It’s simply a matter of supply and demand.”

But Keith clearly dipped into his estimated 200million fortune to ensure his over-the-odds offer couldn’t be refused.

On top of the purchase price, he’ll have to pay 294 a year for ground rent and car parking. Fellow owners are remaining loyally tight-lipped about exactly which hut the man once dubbed ‘the world’s most elegantly wasted human being’ has bought.

But it is believed to be one in a row hidden behind a small sand dune – enough to keep prying eyes at bay, but spoiling the magnificent view across the Solent from the open porch.

The hut is a stone’s throw from Redlands, the secluded thatched country home Keith bought in the village in 1966 – and which gained notoriety a year later when he and Mick Jagger were arrested in a drugs raid there.

Keith spends most of his time in Connecticut these days, but he once described West Wittering as “God’s little acre”. “I love that village and they’ve always been smooth with me,” he said.

A hut right on the sand offers the best way to enjoy it. As well as offering a permanent base in the summer, the huts provide an ideal escape in the winter when the cognoscenti say Wittering is at its best, with icy-blue skies streaked with lines of migrating geese and winds that whip waves on to a deserted shore.

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