Exmouth car park questions

AN Exmouth Fore Street resident has demanded to know why a car park is still operating without planning permission - nearly three months after a complaint was filed with district council bosses.

Residents had objected to East Devon District Council that 30 parking spaces had been marked out at the former Gas Depot in Fore Street, with signs and a parking meter also installed.

Planning chiefs wrote to Eagle One Homes Ltd in August and said it was their ‘opinion’ that use of the land as a car park was an unauthorised change of use.

They said Eagle One should either stop using the site as a car park and remove the signs and parking meter or apply for retrospective planning permission to change the use of the land.

Resident Claire Chapman this week said: “Why is this car park still in operation?

“I live nearby and we have noticed a huge increase in traffic coming from this car park, along what is a single track residential road, and, more importantly, have had several near misses of drivers coming out of the car park and across the pavement - without looking to see if anyone was walking past.

“If this car park is contravening planning rules, why is it allowed to continue to operate?”

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A spokesman for East Devon District Council said: “It is correct that planning permission is required if this site is to be operated as a car park – but so far no application for permission has been made.

“We will be liaising with Devon County Council’s highways service to determine if there is any harm in highways safety terms.

“Once we have done so, we will be able to judge whether enforcement action is justified.

“We should be in a position to do this in the next week or so.”

The Journal asked Eagle One Homes for a comment, but the company had not responded at the time of going to press.