Plans to build a static crane for lifting boats at Exmouth Marina have been refused by East Devon District Council.

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The crane, which would be 10.5 metres high, was proposed by marina bosses as a replacement for a previous scheme involving a mobile crane.

They said it would be good for the economy, but local residents raised many objections, telling members of EDDC’s development management committee that, contrary to a planning officers’ report, they live in a residential area, rather than a working marina.

Ward councillor Eileen Wragg supported this view when she addressed the committee.

She said: “Exmouth docks were closed in the 1990s by a harbour revision order. One piece of land was kept as operational land, and that’s where the fish are loaded at the docks’ entrance.

“The whole of the development was scheduled for residential development – it’s not a marina-type development. No work can be taken out on boats in the marina itself – they are for moorings.

“I think this [crane] would be totally inappropriate.”

Committee members supported these concerns, saying that while a static crane could be a good idea, it was being proposed in the wrong place – in close proximity to people’s homes.

Councillor Phil Twiss said: “I think this is possibly the right answer, in totally the wrong location. It would have too much impact on the residents and the environment – it’s not a working environment down there.”

Councillor Ben Ingham said: “I see this application as an afterthought. You can’t do all that [development] and then say ‘oh, by the way, we want to start doing what we did 25 years ago’. If they’d wanted it at the time it could have been planned in.

“I see it as dangerous to pedestrians using the footpath.”

Councillors voted to reject the scheme on the grounds that it would be unsuitable in a residential area, would detract from the area’s character, would have a detrimental effect on the amenity for residents, would impair visual amenity, and would create footpath access issues.

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