A BIDDING war ensued over a privately-owned Weymouth cove which will allow its new owners VIP views of the sailing events.
Castle Cove Beach at Old Castle Road was auctioned at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton yesterday.
It was bought for £90,500 – thousands of pounds over its original guide price.
The cove’s lucky new owners, Lee and Karen Maidment, intend to relocate to Weymouth from Corfe Mullen soon.
Mr Maidment said: “We’re thrilled to buy this lovely beach and intend to help and maintain this local facility for the future for local people.
“We know people are passionate about this particular beach and we are too.”
There had been a lot of interest in Castle Cove, known locally as Sandsfoot Beach, because of its prime location and the ideal views of the Olympic sailing events.
Many changes have been made to Castle Cove beach over the years, including the opening of a fast food outlet which sparked controversy over the private, family beach becoming too commercialised.
The previous owner, who ran The Shack cafe for 18 months, reluctantly sold the beach.
The bid which she originally won on her lunch break was said to be a once-in-a-lifetime chance, but now the beach, which overlooks Portland Harbour, has brand new owners.
In yesterday’s auction, the cove had a guide price of £65,000 to £75,000.
Rob Marchant, auctioneer, said: “There was a lot of public and media interest in this freehold sandy beach, which has public access, and is a lovely location from which to watch the Olympic sailing events, perhaps with the benefit of binoculars as well.
“We had a bidding war, with the gavel coming down on a winning bid which was £25,500 more than the lower end of the guide price.
“This was perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own your very own beach and the new owner in the sales room was clearly overjoyed.”
A refreshment kiosk has been on the site since 1947 and was included in the lot.
Planning permission which had been granted for eight beach huts to be built on the beach has now lapsed.