Outdoor bar plan would have 'serious consequences' on tidal defence scheme

PUBLISHED: 14:00 11 June 2019

The Grove, in The Esplanade, Exmouth. Picture: Google

The Grove, in The Esplanade, Exmouth. Picture: Google

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Plans to build a new outdoor bar at a popular Exmouth seafront pub have been criticised for 'undermining' plans to improve the town's sea defences.

Youngs and Co Brewery, which owns The Grove, is seeking permission to install a new external bar to the front garden of the pub with cellar space and cover seating.

However, the Environment Agency (EA) says the proposal could have 'serious consequences' on its multi-million pound scheme to improve the town's tidal defences.

EA said it is planning to install a flood gate 'in the vicinity' of The Grove, in The Esplanade.

READ MORE: Seafront junction to be re-designed in latest tidal defence improvement plans

At its meeting on Monday (June 10), the town council's planning committee agreed with the views of EA and refused to support the application.

In its consultation, a spokesman for EA said: "While we would normally have no in-principle objections to this type of development in this location, in this situation the proposal will undermine our ability to deliver the Exmouth flood defence scheme in this location."

"'If we aren't able to put the gate here as planned, it could lead to pretty serious consequences for the scheme.

"There is very little space to play with in order to provide secondary defences as planned.

"If there is space to move the proposed gate slightly, it will come at a significant cost to us under our contract, and no doubt upset the neighbouring landowner."

Members of the town council planning committee voted to oppose the application.

The Exmouth Tidal Defence Scheme is split into three zones.

Area A, which has full planning permission already, extends from the boatyard and along the estuary side into the Imperial Recreation Ground.

Area B, which also has full planning permission, extends from the Imperial Recreation Ground at its western end around to Camperdown Terrace.

Area C, which only has outline planning permission, extends from Mamhead Slipway along the length of the Esplanade and includes the strengthening of the existing sea wall and construction of a setback defence on the landward side of the Esplanade. East Devon District Council will make the final decision on the application.

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