Exmouth seafront application wins backing despite concerns
PUBLISHED: 12:30 03 February 2017
The latest planning application for Exmouth seafront regeneration has been supported by town councillors.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) has submitted a reserved matters application for Queen’s Drive, seeking detailed planning permission for facilities included in phase two and phase three of its plans.
This includes a watersports centre, holiday accommodation, leisure and retail uses, relating to outline permission which was previously granted.
EDDC says this will extend the planning permission and allow it to move forward with full consultation plans, but opponents say approval would allow building to begin.
A majority of members of Exmouth Town Council’s planning committee this week voted to back the application, despite hearing concerns from independent East Devon Alliance district councillor Megan Armstrong about what this support would mean.
Cllr Armstrong told the committee: “A reserved matters application is a full planning application for phase two and three. This is not an extension to an outline application - this is the real thing, a permission to build.
“Forget the promises of further consultation and more planning applications, don’t be confused by press releases and further information sent to you.”
In response, Conservative committee chairman Councillor Lynne Elson said: “[EDDC] can’t build as there is no budget and the council has absolutely a commitment to phase three, but no budget to attempt to build on that land. There’s a developer for phase two, but not for phase three.”
Proposing support, Conservative Councillor Bill Nash said: “It’s a means of renewing the outline application that was passed in 2013 for this area. But, to do it, you have to give full reserved matters.
“What it is not is permission to go ahead and build.”
Cllr Nash said there would be consultation before the proposed watersports centre or other facilities were finalised, adding: “[EDDC] is committed to [watersports centre developer] Grenadier holding public consultation.
“Phase three is not set in concrete – it can be altered totally. This application isn’t the final word.”
Opposing, Liberal Democrat Councillor Tim Dumper said: “If we put our hand up and say we approve now, that means we do approve it, whatever that [consultation] plan says, and it can always be revived.
“I shall be voting against this because I think we need more information and a better guarantee of a fully rounded, holistic consultation.”
The application was supported, with six Conservative councillors voting in favour and two Lib Dems and one Green voting against.
EDDC will decide on permission.