Safety concerns raised for beach swimmers after water sports centre plan submitted

PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 February 2018

An artist's image of what the water sports centre could look like. Picture: East Devon District Council

An artist's image of what the water sports centre could look like. Picture: East Devon District Council

Archant

Residents, representatives and businesses have begun to react to a formal planning application for a new watersports centre on Exmouth seafront.

Grenadier Estates’ proposal, with facilities for retail and a restaurant and café, could be built on a site currently used as a car park in Queen’s Drive.

This would be ‘phase two’ of East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Exmouth Seafront Regeneration Scheme.

EDDC ward members for Littleham, Councillors Mark Williamson and Bruce De Saram, have both registered their support for the application.

However, Cllr Williamson did raise concerns over a planned two-storey building on the site for café and restaurant facilities. He added: “I cannot understand why two floors are needed when there are already over 20 existing food outlets, mainly locally-owned and run, on the seafront.”

Eric Bridge, co-owner of Edge Watersports, based in Exmouth, told the Journal he thinks the centre would be positive for the town.

He said: “Having a part of the beach where people can use the facilities without having a road in that position will be a great space for both sports users and tourists alike. For us, it would be a perfect location for all of our activities.”

One member of the public has raised concerns over the impact that the application could have on the safety of swimmers in an area of the beach thought to be unsafe for bathers.

Commenting on the application through EDDC’s website, Ann Keen said: “I am objecting to this proposal because it involves a watersports facility being built at a location where it is known to be unsafe to swim.”

Grenadier Estates said that there will be various spaces in front of the watersports centre to place water safety signage.

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