Exmouth seafront planning application approved

PUBLISHED: 17:16 11 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:30 13 April 2017

Image from East Devon District Council's Queen's Drive planning application.

Image from East Devon District Council's Queen's Drive planning application.

Archant

Plans to redevelop Exmouth seafront have been approved, although district bosses insist nothing will be built before further consultation.

Protesters against East Devon District Council's seafront redevelopment plans, pictured outside the council's development management committee meeting.Protesters against East Devon District Council's seafront redevelopment plans, pictured outside the council's development management committee meeting.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) development management committee voted in favour of the authority’s own reserved matters application for Queen’s Drive on Tuesday.

EDDC has repeatedly denied it will proceed itself, saying it has no budget for the work, there is more consultation planned, and that it needs a development partner - however, there is now nothing to stop it going ahead in planning terms.

EDDC development manager Chris Rose told the meeting: “You need to bear in mind, by granting consent, this scheme could technically be carried out.”

EDDC had said approval would extend its outline permission and allow developer Grenadier to come forward with watersports centre plans. EDDC can now also seek ideas and a developer for other facilities.

Councillor Philip Skinner, chairman of Exmouth Regeneration Board, told the committee: “This enables the council to go ahead and deliver the enabling works, but will also allow the community to have their say on the future of the site.”

Committee members voted 10 to four to approve the proposals.

Councillor Alan Dent said: “I believe we now have a well-thought-out plan which will be of benefit to visitors and residents alike.”

Councillor Helen Parr said: “It’s quite clear the site as it is is out of date and unattractive, and other seaside towns are moving on and have stunning buildings on the seafront.”

Opposing, Cllr Steve Gazzard said: “This design is totally out of keeping. If we don’t get this right, we have the possibility that we will destroy Exmouth seafront forever.”

Councillor Ben Ingham said: “I don’t think the quality of the architecture is good enough. I think it is second rate.”

Reacting after the meeting, Nick Hookway, of campaign group Save Exmouth Seafront, said: “We’re disappointed. The council has promised further consultation and we shall be holding it to that.”

EDDC chief executive Mark Williams said: “We look forward to working with all the residents of Exmouth on the future of this exciting seafront opportunity.”

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