Campaign group’s bid to save Exmouth Fun Park and Harbour View Cafe dealt blow by town council

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:17 23 April 2018

Exmouth Fun Park. Ref exe 38 17TI 1081. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth Fun Park. Ref exe 38 17TI 1081. Picture: Terry Ife

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A bid to save a pair of iconic Exmouth seafront sites for future generations has been dealt a blow by town councillors.

Harbour View Cafe. Ref exe 11-17TI 8849. Picture: Terry IfeHarbour View Cafe. Ref exe 11-17TI 8849. Picture: Terry Ife

Nick Hookway, chairman of Save Exmouth Seafront, has made an application on behalf of the campaign group to district bosses for the Harbour View Café and the now-closed Exmouth Fun Park plots to be declared as ‘assets of community value’.

The two businesses, in Queen’s Drive, are earmarked for development of attractions and a watersports centre as part of the project.

Exmouth Fun Park was evicted from the site at the end of last summer.

If they are listed with East Devon District Council (EDDC) as ‘assets of community value’, it would mean that, should the authority choose to sell the sites, Save Exmouth Seafront would have the chance to ‘pause’ any bid for six months to give them chance to prepare an offer.

At a planning committee meeting this week, Exmouth town councillors voted against supporting the application.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Hookway said: “The fun park is a very popular community asset with an emphasis on recreation.

“I nominated this site as an asset of community value so it will be protected from future development and will be accessible to residents and visitors alike. It will enhance the social interests of local residents and permit the site to continue to be used for its historic function.

“Harbour View is not only a takeaway and fish and chip shop, it’s a much-valued community facility and asset.Harbour View provides a meeting place – this iconic building is central to many residents’ and businesses’ perception of Exmouth seafront.”

Councillor Tony Hill felt that the council should not support the bid, saying it might prejudice any consultation done by Hemmingway Designs, which has been appointed as an independent consultant on the seafront regeneration. He added: “It may well be that the outcome is to preserve the Harbour View Café and I think we need them to have the opportunity to have that consultation and make up their own mind and bring proposals back to us.”

Cllr Maddie Chapman also said that, if EDDC intended to sell the sites, the town council would be the first to table a bid ‘on behalf of the community’.

EDDC will decide the fate of Save Exmouth Seafront’s application.

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