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‘Give us seafront traders a look-in’

12:46 02 July 2014

Exmouth amusements. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 5911-26-14AW

Exmouth amusements. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 5911-26-14AW

Archant

A seafront trader whose family-run attraction faces closure after 40 years has blasted council bosses for not considering his plans to develop his business.

East Devon District Council wants to transform part of the seafront into the Queens Drive Leisure Area – and say it will be the last season for the attractions.

But Chris Wright, whose family run Exmouth Fun Park, the Arnold Palmer Putting Course, and Jungle Fun, says he has submitted detailed proposals to improve his business, writes David Beasley.

For 10 years he has urged the district council to grant him a longer lease so he can invest.

Outline permission for a water sports centre, hotel, gardens, indoor leisure, restaurant, shops and car park has been granted.

Mr Wright told the Journal: “They said that they would work with the existing tenants and opportunities would exist for those who submitted suitable proposals.

“We submitted our own detailed proposals. Indeed, elements of the outline design are based on our suggestions.

“Regrettably, we have heard nothing substantive from the council, save that it will be delivered by developers, rather than local existing businesses.

“It is disappointing for me that my suggestions have been adopted but I am not being considered. It is also very disappointing for the town that local businesses are not being given the opportunity to participate in the new development.”

He said businesses had not been kept up to date and information had been ‘vague’, adding: “It is extremely distressing to the traders, staff and their families whose livelihoods are at stake.”

Mr Wright called for a meeting with the project manager, and said: “Our lease has not ended, and does not end this year. We will continue to operate and entertain visitors and residents alike.”

A council spokeswoman confirmed it had received proposals from Mr Wright and others.

“All discussions are ongoing and, clearly, confidential due to commercial sensitivity.

“We have always said that we would like to include some opportunities within the new development for local businesses such as shops, cafes and leisure activity provision.

“Further details of these will evolve throughout the development process.”

She added that they had been in regular contact with their tenants: “Negotiations for developments of this size take time so we can ensure the best possible outcome for the residents of and visitors to Exmouth.”

2 comments

  • Transition Town Exmouth, is keen that the development on Queen's Drive is to the highest standards of sustainability and hope that the EDDC chiefs in their closed-door negotiations are making the same point to the potential developers and not assuring them that the cheapest options will suffice. Experience shows that investment for quality at the design stage is repaid over the long life of the facilities. Adrian Toole Interim Chair

    Report this comment

    #GreenManExmouth

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • I cannot beleive we are losing all those brilliant outside activitys down the sea front,we spend hours at the beach park,it's ideal for my 3 year old and 6 year old,hours of fun Why we need another restaurant to sit empty 10 months of the year and more indoor attractions is beyond me We have indoor attractions,there's going to be nothing for the under 5s down the sea front A splash water zone is great for half an hour but then kids get cold ,it's also to busy for my 3 year old They built one of these further up the road and closed it due to many complications! The beach park is brilliant hours of fun,this town hardly listens to the peoples views,rolle college,Elizabeth hall,the strand,we are always being told it was wanted but I haven't met any one who wants the beach park etc to go,but no doubt it will and the town will spend a fortune on something un used and parents and children will go else where for what the children really like!

    Report this comment

    Cecil

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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