ASDA: stop being negative

PUBLISHED: 16:00 08 November 2008 | UPDATED: 09:59 10 June 2010

For some months now I have read the many letters in The Journal disagreeing with the proposal by East Devon District Council to the ASDA development. A significant sign from EDDC that, at last, they wish to start to rejuvenate Exmouth. After the Tesco fi

For some months now I have read the many letters in The Journal disagreeing with the proposal by East Devon District Council to the ASDA development. A significant sign from EDDC that, at last, they wish to start to rejuvenate Exmouth. After the Tesco fiasco, some 25 years ago, when public opinion turned down the proposed Tesco development which would have given Exmouth a new rugby and athletic stadium and marina, leaving them to purchase out-of-town Clarke's factory. Out-of-town shopping was the vogue then, but has since not made planning and economic sense. Well then, the public had made its choice. The professional planners were wrong? The professionals did get it right though, against a large public opinion of negatives when the Magnolia Centre was built. 'Not right for this town', 'The chemists and stationers will all close', 'The small businesses will all close'. The existing businesses, realising Exmouth was becoming larger, smartened up, opened on Wednesday afternoons and gave better service. The planners could see that this development was so important for Exmouth to progress forward.The Swimming Pool Fund was formed in 1979 to raise £100,000 from the people of Exmouth to show EDDC that the town really wanted this new amenity. The negative reaction from many of the people of Exmouth was alarming. The committee's carnival float each year constantly booed and taunted. Committee members spat at in the street and confronted. 'We still want the old pool', 'I learnt to swim in the Docks' and so on. Progress not wanted by many but, thank goodness, many others came forward in those six years to raise the amount required and so, in 1986, it opened. The pool adjoined a 'leisure centre' - an old railway shed. This in turn adjoins a bus storage area which could really be sited at Camperdown or Pound Lane. We have put up with this unsightly area now for over 20 years, but it really need not be in this location.We have the opportunity now to have a bright new supermarket, much needed for the expanded population of the largest town in Devon. A shopping facility to rejuvenate this town, which has started to look rather sad. Rejuvenation similar to Poole and Weymouth, which have both developed their water-sides and enhanced and improved their towns to a tremendous extent. Very, very few existing shops will suffer, but will have the opportunity to grow with the rise in people shopping within Exmouth. I know of many who shop in other towns outside Exmouth at Taunton, Newton Abbot and Exeter before grocery shopping.It was good to see more letters now coming in being pro-ASDA. I know the majority of Brixington and Littleham, the majority of those holidaying at Sandy Bay and most of the young families of this town will hope the ASDA project is successful. The town centre needs, and has needed for many years, an excellent shopping facility and other progressive plans will follow.The negatives need not shop in the new store - need not use the new facilities and leisure centre/swimming pool being offered to them. If Exmouth refuses this development being offered to them - I say this as I consider the plans excellent and would definitely not consider 'anything' - I assure you EDDC will not bother again for another 30 years. Is that what you want for our future generations?Graham Kirby,23 Roundhouse Lane, Exmouth.PS I was in fact on the Swimming Pool Fund for over six years and the chairman for the latter three years. I was a town councillor for seven years and have passed a town planning examination. I had my own business in Exmouth for 30 years and was a member of the chamber for 30 years.

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