Monday, September 10, 2012
Exmouth Town Council has thrown its support behind the town’s NCI Coastwatch group, which faces continued uncertainty about the future of its watchtower.
The tower is part of the Harbour View Café – which is in the ‘Exmouth Splash’ area of East Devon District Council’s Exmouth Masterplan.
The group fears that the tower could be demolished as part of any redevelopment, and is demanding that it is retained or that a replacement tower is provided with the same facilities.
It said it was appealing for town council support as they thought negotiations with EDDC had gone as far as they could.
At a meeting this week, NCI member Mike Fowler told councillors: “What we’re here for is your help. We’ve been liaising with the officers of the [district] council, and think we’ve gone as far as we can in a constructive manner.
“We need to get reassurances that whatever outcome is chosen [for the Splash area] NCI facilities will be retained here in Exmouth.”
Mr Fowler said the NCI station has declared facility status, which allows it to work with other rescue services, and that the current tower gives coastwatchers a view of the channel and most of the red flag beach.
In response to the appeal, councillors were united in their praise of the NCI, and desire for the group’s activities to continue.
Mayor John Humphreys told Mr Fowler: “We place great value on the service you provide, and the benefits of you working with other agencies, and the people of this town and all members of this town council support your work, and we will fight, because there will always be a need for a watchtower on our beach.”
Councillors decided they would write to EDDC to support NCI’s case, including an insistence that if the watchtower is to go, it should not be demolished before a replacement is up and running.