Exmouth seafront protesters to stage march
PUBLISHED: 06:30 07 November 2016
A march is to be held through the streets of Exmouth, protesting what campaigners say is a lack of consultation about seafront redevelopment plans.
Campaign group Save Exmouth Seafront (SES) says it is organising the march as East Devon District Council (EDDC) has not responded to a letter from Exmouth Town Council calling for further independent consultation on the future of Queen’s Drive, following a vote for this in a town poll.
EDDC, which revealed this week that the cost of the project has more than doubled, says further consultation will be held.
The march on November 12 will begin at the lorry park in Marine Way at 11am.
Protesters will then proceed to the seafront via Imperial Road, The Strand and Alexandra Terrace, and end at around midday with some short speeches.
SES supporter Clive Paul said: “I am appalled that EDDC has not responded, but has continued on with the demolition of seafront attractions, showing a complete lack of regard for the people of Exmouth.
“I will be joining the march to reiterate the call for independent consultation on the future of Exmouth seafront, and that no further work should go ahead until this has been done.”
In response, Councillor Philip Skinner, chairman of EDDC’s Exmouth Regeneration Board, said developer Grenadier would be holding its own public consultation on a proposed watersports centre at Queen’s Drive, before further consultation during the planning application process.
Regarding subsequent redevelopment, Cllr Skinner said: “The council will be carrying out further consultation on the third and final phase of the project, which involves the remainder of the golf site, the fun park and the Harbour View Cafe sites.
“The council is looking to commission external expertise to produce a fresh new vision for this phase and a key priority will be to consult with our residents, businesses and tourists as we want people to have their say from the outset before developers or investors come on board.”
The council also this week began demolition work on DJ’s Cafe, the former Jungle Fun and Arnold Palmer mini-golf site, and the former site of Exmouth Model Railway.
It has also said its cabinet will consider a report on the redevelopment on November 9, including the news that gross costs for the Queen’s Drive project have now more than doubled from £1.5million to £3.1million.
An EDDC spokesperson said: “The council appreciates that this is a large increase but, unfortunately, when a project is delayed, costs will inevitably rise.
“The council will now manage the revised projections within the scope of the project plan.”
● For more on the seafront, see page six.