Call for more details on seafront plan

PUBLISHED: 14:42 27 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:42 27 January 2016


An Exmouth political group has called for more information to be provided, and consultation to be held, on seafront redevelopment plans.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) is proposing new buildings and leisure facilities in Queen’s Drive.

Eileen Beech, chairman of Exmouth Liberal Democrats, has called for more openness about the plans - and says the party could subsequently support a referendum if it was felt appropriate.

In response, an EDDC spokesman said the council had kept councillors informed, and would shortly be publishing more information.

Speaking after a meeting of Liberal Democrat councillors and members in Exmouth, Mrs Beech said: “Like many in Exmouth, local Liberal Democrats are deeply concerned about some of the development proposals for Exmouth’s seafront. This is a priceless community asset which must not be damaged by inappropriate commercial development.

“Yet a cloud of secrecy and uncertainty hangs over the future of the seafront. Under the guise of confidentiality, many fear that the district council is taking piecemeal decisions which, taken together, will pre-empt proper public debate.

“Exmouth Liberal Democrats feel it is time for EDDC to come clean and end this damaging speculation.

“Proposals need to be put on the table and EDDC must commit to a proper process of public consultation to allow the people of Exmouth to have their say.

“If, after public consultation, there is clearly a need for a public vote, Liberal Democrats would support a local referendum. But we need to know what is being proposed first.”

In response, an EDDC spokesman said: “Queen’s Drive is one of the fresh opportunities for Exmouth and it follows on from the success of The Strand and the Premier Inn developments.

“Despite the commercial and legal sensitivities around the redevelopment, the council has kept district and town councillors informed and aware of the steps taken so far.

“Shortly, we will be publishing a series of questions and answers in relation to the Queen’s Drive proposals which will help people understand the current position.”

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