Exmouth the centre of a green revolution?
PUBLISHED: 15:23 06 December 2014
A ‘green revolution’ could begin in Exmouth if the Queen’s Drive developers embraced cutting-edge technology to enable it to produce its own power.
Andy Lock from eco-think tank Transition Exmouth (TE), told town councillors that Exmouth could be a ‘beacon’ of green excellence - and the key is the Queen’s Drive Leisure Area.
He said: “There is a particular opportunity and perhaps this should be something of an iconic example of how to implement sustainability into the community; a means to drive new thinking.”
He called on developers and planners to work together to ‘do the right thing’ and said: “I don’t like a lot of concrete buildings with lots of glass.
“With new technologies and new thinking we could adopt something ‘eco-superior’ which would positively contributes to the environment…”
He listed a slew of cutting edge technologies including ‘smart windows’ which stored energy from sunlight to power lights, and humidity ‘capturing’ technology which produced bottled water.
Mr Lock cited an ‘eco-superior’ building in Hong Kong which produces enough energy to run itself and the community: “Imagine the possibility of the Queen’s Drive development feeding back into our own electricity grid?
“If, at the end the development, it simply gets plugged into the National Grid, I believe we would have failed in our mission.”
Such an ‘iconic’ development, he said, could kick start a green revolution, creating jobs: “Sustainability recognises that the economy, the environment, and society are interconnected, it touches everything we do…educational policy, transportation, new jobs training and apprenticeships.”
His vision is for a ‘cleaner and carbon neutral Exmouth’ would become an ‘eco-town’ - of national and international repute.
He said that TE had held a workshop with some business leaders about sustainable practices: “The green tourism flag is being adopted around the country, they are qualifying for that badge.”
Visit England research states that 50 per cent of people are interested in staying in green friendly places, while 71 per cent of people on TripAdviser in 2012 said they would like to make ‘more green friendly choices’ about where they stay.
“And they would be willing to pay more money for the benefit of staying in a green-friendly town,” added Mr Lock.
He said in China train passengers are given a discount if they didn’t drop litter and recycled: I can envisage a situation (in the new leisure area) where that would be appropriate to encourage tourists to take their rubbish and give them a small bonus.
“Can Exmouth be a centre of sustainability?
“The answer is yes.
“We need to go on a journey with planners and developers to ensure that the new leisure development is not only aesthetically sympathetic to the area but designed and built using the latest renewable technologies which will positively contribute to the long term health and well-being of the community.”