Saturday, 13 August 2016

Regenerating Exmouth seafront >>> "Transition Exmouth calls on the chair of Exmouth Regeneration Board to demonstrate a willingness to listen to an outside expert and issue an invitation to Wayne Hemingway to visit our town."

When it comes to the look of Britain's seaside resorts, we can just wallow in "that whiff of decline... a nostalgic, half-remembered place, never quite as good as it once was..."
Futures Forum: Brexit: and British identity beside the seaside

Or we can try and do a little bit better.

Sidmouth has looked to professionals to design its seafront:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal and the Eastern Town >>> architecture competition to re-imagine Port Royal >>> winning design chosen >>>further reports
Futures Forum: Port Royal: Envisioning the Ham Sidmouth > book launch

When re-imagining Margate's seafront, there are hopes that the 'usual' unimaginative solutions will not be embraced:
Futures Forum: Re-imagining coastal towns >>> The response is usually "let's get a large supermarket and a Pizza Express - that'll do it". Oh - and not forgetting the "luxury apartments".

Now that the development of Exmouth's seafront has paused
Futures Forum: Regenerating Exmouth seafront >>> "Overwhelmingly visitors like the seafront the way it is and don’t want much to change."

... it looks as though the call for more consultation is being taken very seriously - by Transition Exmouth, who have been involved in the development of the town's seafront for some time:
Futures Forum: Sustainable Development in Exmouth
Futures Forum: Transition Town Exmouth: working with the council

Here's the full report from the latest Express & Echo:

Iconic designer Wayne Hemingway says he's willing to offer thoughts on Exmouth seafront project

By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: August 12, 2016 By Alex Richards @AlexRich89 

Wayne Hemingway is willing to visit Exmouth and share his thoughts on the Queens Drive development.

The East Devon District Council project is currently on hold after a shock announcement the site would be re-tendered because of a lack of progress on the part of original developer, Moirai Capital Investments.

Environmental community group Transition Exmouth contacted the noted designer following the decision. 
Chair Adrian Toole says that although his group do not plan to throw their support or opposition at any planning applications, it agrees with the town's demand for an independent consultation. They believe the re-tendering for a major developer demonstrates that mistakes have been made and that another consultation is necessary in the form of a revision of the 2011 Exmouth Masterplan.

Chair Adrian Toole added: "National experience with the re-development of seaside towns is that they have only been successful where art and good design have been the primary consideration, the money then followed; those promoting development in Exmouth need to be more aware of this principle. The artistic involvement in the future of Margate, Hastings, Folkestone, Bexhill, and Morecambe amongst others, shows what can be done and the retro appeal of these locations is directly relevant to Exmouth.

Here's reaction to news Exmouth's landmark £18m seafront project could be re-marketed

"In this field there is one pre-eminent name, designer Wayne Hemingway, whose recent work has involved both one-off events and long-term planning for the future of communities the country over. As well as having a good record on community involvement, Wayne demonstrates a sensitivity to traditional seaside entertainments and locales which is why he would be the ideal person to involve in the consultation guiding the revised Masterplan for Exmouth.

He added: "Transition Exmouth calls on Cllr. Philip Skinner, Chair of Exmouth Regeneration Board and Chair of Exmouth Coastal Communities Team to demonstrate a willingness to listen to an outside expert and himself issue the invitation to Wayne Hemingway to visit our town."

Hemingway has indicated that he is willing to visit Exmouth and has suggested a date, requesting only a formal invite.

The council has outline planning permission to develop the Queen's Drive site to include a cafe and public open space, retail units, a hotel or holiday accommodation, car parking, and indoor and outdoor play facilities. This includes the water sports centre at the front of the Queen's Drive site, where the council has forged a partnership with Grenadier Estates for the proposed new £4 million community-owned centre. This project is hoped to be under way early 2017.

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