Saturday, 6 February 2016

Regenerating Exmouth seafront: the "incorrect and misleading" rumours around seafront development

There have been many misgivings about 'regeneration' in East Devon:
Futures Forum: "Regeneration and economic development" in East Devon >>> looking beyond the conventional, the ideological and the heavyhanded
Futures Forum: "Regeneration and economic development" in East Devon >>> District Council cabinet meets Wednesday 6th January

And one area in particular which has been upsetting many is the Exmouth seafront:
Futures Forum: Regenerating Exmouth seafront: "It is good that people air their opinions" >>> 90% reject District Council's plans

The latest episode has been the handling of closed businesses:

Campaigners battling to save Exmouth from redevelopment hit out at businesses left boarded up

By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: February 02, 2016

Dj's Cafe in Exmouth

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CAMPAIGNERS battling to save Exmouth seafront from a multi-million redevelopment have hit out at businesses left boarded up

The Save Exmouth Seafront (SES) campaign group has expressed its anger that the D J Diners' Café building has now stood empty for a four months since East Devon District Council (EDDC) boarded it up and forced eviction of the tenants last October.

Louise MacAllister, SES spokesperson said "We feel really frustrated and saddened that this thriving family business was forced to close down four months ago when it could have still been trading now. The popular Carriage Café has also been removed, and the site boarded up since the end of September, when it too could still be serving residents and visitors in the town. I question EDDC's commitment to do the best thing for Exmouth, when it forces the unnecessary closure of popular seafront businesses."

A spokesman for the council said: "Good development is a long and complex process and there can be a period of inactivity when a site is to be regenerated. The council has been in negotiation with the businesses on the entire site – its tenants – as far back as 2013 and we have always said that if a tenant can stay for a period of time during phased development then we will explore these possibilities. Specifically, in the case of DJ's Cafe, the tenants were served formal notice in November 2014 that their lease would be terminated last September. Unlike other Queen's Drive tenants who engaged with the council, there was a lack of formal communication from the former tenants of DJ's Cafe and their legal representatives. When the notice expired, the council took back the premises as the tenancy had been brought to an end. The site on which their former premises sit, is an integral part of the first phase of the regeneration programme. When the outline planning permission for the site was approved, the council carried out widespread public consultation, as it also did for the Exmouth Masterplan exercise and there were numerous opportunities for people to have their say on the future of their town.

" The next level of public consultation will be when the developers put forward their planning proposals for the site, and, as part of the planning process, we expect them to have full and open engagement with local people. EDDC continues to promote visible and quality change for Exmouth, and the Strand and Premier Inn are proof of how positive redevelopment can be. In our recent discussions with community and business representatives in the town as part of preparing an economic plan - to which Save Exmouth Seafront representatives were invited – there was real positivity and encouragement for the council and its partners to promote growth for the town."

The Carriage Café, which ran for nearly 50 years, was hauled out of Exmouth in October, to the Lappa Valley Steam Railway in Cornwall, The café and model railway is owned by Sara and Keith Southwell. Mr Southwell said: "I must say though we've had a wonderful few years serving the people of Exmouth and tourists alike, it is a great shame that the council couldn't see their way to incorporate this unusual attraction into their new plans – but Devon's loss is Cornwall's gain We are sad that so many of our employees, mainly young people, will be losing their jobs."

Campaigners battling to save Exmouth from redevelopment hit out at businesses left boarded up | Exeter Express and Echo

And from the Exmouth Journal:
Campaigners’ anger over closed cafe - News - Exmouth Journal

The District Council and Exmouth Town Council have responded:

Exmouth council address "incorrect and misleading" rumours around seafront development

By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: February 05, 2016

Cllr Lynne Elson and plans for Exmouth Splash

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Exmouth Town Council have addressed what they consider to be "incorrect and misleading" rumours around an £18m redevelopment project.

The Tory-led authority say there is still far more discussion to be had before concrete plans are submitted for approval.

The proposals to develop Queen's Drive to include flats, shops and a cinema, has spelled closure for a number of popular and long-established shops and cafes.

Conservative councillors are stressing that any proposed development would steer clear some areas rumoured to be affected. 
They include areas the Maer Nature Reserve, the cricket ground, the tennis club and the bowls club. They have stated that these areas are "specifically" excluded from plans. Councillors also commented on two concept drawings for the splash redevelopment covering the seafront area.

According to the town's authority, amendments have been made to these designs. Many of which have already been considered after concerns were expressed by residents. They say they will be "pushing hard for further changes" to "reflect the town's needs" before allowing anything to be finally decided.

Lynne Elson, Leader of Exmouth Town Council Conservatives said: "Please be assured that your we are actively representing your views, while seeking to achieve sensitive and realistic improvements to our town. We think the project will help encourage inward investment, promote local jobs for local people, and also give us a town that we can continue to be proud of for many years to come, One which becomes a real focus point for tourism in East Devon."


analternative | February 06 2016, 7:14PM

We are an Exmouth based, family run business, established in 1987, employing local people. We supplied the Ocean Bowling Centre from the start until Leisure East Devon (LED) took it over when we were told we were being replaced by a multinational company based in Surrey with no explanation or chance to match their offer. Don't trust them!!

Jessbelle | February 06 2016, 5:33PM

Flats, shops, reduction in children's play areas and urban development on a natural seafront are hardly focal points for tourism in East Devon.

Oldtar | February 05 2016, 6:46PM

Why were no plans in place, before the brutal clearance of thriving businesses began? Where is the money coming from, to move the road around the water sports complex. Why did the original Splash proposal state that no flats would be included, when every suggestion since shows most of the area given over them. These questions need answering first.

Exmouth council address "incorrect and misleading" rumours around seafront development | Exeter Express and Echo


Viewer2 said...

Where did this new view come from it still looks as though there will a large building at the back of the site and possibly a block of flats overlooking the bowling club, accusing other people of misleading comments regarding the area affected is only compounded by the inclusion of this new layout. Have the Town Council really thought this out?

Jeremy Woodward said...

Thanks for the comment.
These plans are all highly contentious - and all connected.
A couple more recent postings look at some of the issues:
Thanks, again,