Council ‘almost there’ with Exmouth watersports centre agreement, as protestors urge leisure area rethink
PUBLISHED: 10:20 31 July 2017
A proposed watersports centre on Exmouth seafront should move forward imminently, with legal agreements set to be completed, East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) regeneration chief has said.
Councillor Philip Skinner, chairman of EDDC’s Exmouth Regeneration Board, made the comments at the authority’s most recent full council meeting.
Grenadier Estates, the developer behind the watersports centre, which forms phase two of EDDC’s three-phase Queen’s Drive redevelopment plan, said last week it would soon release plans for public consultation.
Councillor Skinner said: “The watersports centre has been a long ongoing project and I’m sure that there are many people that are frustrated at the time it’s taking to get over one or two issues as far as legal agreements are concerned with Grenadier Estates, but what I can assure everybody is that we are almost there.
“Certainly by this week or next, I am told, where we’re likely to be, is we will be over the line and Grenadier Estates can move forward with their plans.”
Responding to public criticism of previously published plans, Cllr Skinner said new designs would be ‘quite different’.
Regarding phase three of the proposed redevelopment, concerning the current site of Exmouth Fun Park and Harbour View Café, Nick Hookway, chairman of campaign group Save Exmouth Seafront, addressed the meeting in reference to comments by Grenadier, saying it was ‘keen to stress’ it is only responsible for the watersports centre.
Mr Hookway said: “As this site has failed to find a developer, and that press statement by Grenadier is so dismissive of the concept of a mixed-use leisure park, is it not time for this council to admit that this project has failed to attract either commercial or public interest and should therefore be abandoned?
“Save Exmouth Seafront calls for a total rethink on these plans, and calls on this council to go back to the residents of Exmouth, with a full, open, extensive and accessible process of consultation, to create and design those facilities that residents want.”
Cllr Skinner said: “With phase three, which is open to full consultation, when we get past that point, the public can start engaging with that part of the process.
“This council is fully much behind its regeneration programme for Exmouth.”
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