Town council opposes amended plans for temporary car park on Exmouth seafront

PUBLISHED: 15:14 29 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:46 30 May 2019

The former Railway Carriage Cafe site, in Queen's Drive, which is subject to an application for an overflow car park. Picture: Google

The former Railway Carriage Cafe site, in Queen's Drive, which is subject to an application for an overflow car park. Picture: Google

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Plans to turn the former home of family-run attractions on Exmouth seafront into an overflow car park would be 'paving over paradise and putting up a parking lot'.

At a planning committee meeting on Monday (May 28), town councillors voted to oppose an application submitted by the district council for a temporary car park in Queen's Drive.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) wants to use land - previously home to the Railway Carriage Café, Jungle Fun and a crazy golf course - for around 50 spaces over the next three years.

However, residents have raised concerns over the environmental impact of increased CO2 emissions - especially near a children's play area.

Speaking at Monday's meeting, resident Mark Myer said the site is earmarked for leisure use in the Exmouth seafront regeneration scheme.

He said: "I wasn't aware car parking was now a leisure activity - no wonder the country is going through an obesity crisis.

"This site is immediately adjacent to a children's play area and will produce more toxic emissions and increase traffic in this area.

"To approve this would be to ensure that your legacy to this town would metaphorically and quite literally to have paved over paradise and put up a parking lot."

Councillor Brian Bailey said the application was in contradiction to the East Devon Local Plan which is a planning guidance document used by the district council in making decisions.

He said: "This is the thin end of the wedge. We've been waiting forever and a day to hear from East Devon on what they intend to do with the site."

Cherry Nicholas pointed out that tidal defence works mean Exmouth could temporarily lose the use of one car park, adding that the district council earns £1,500 per space annually.

However, Cllr Tim Dumper said: "We are here considering a planning application, not the income of East Devon District Council."

Cllr Fred Caygill proposed the planning committee support the application with the condition the car park in place for 18 months rather than the three years proposed.

Councillors voted against this motion and objected to the application.

EDDC will have the final say on the application

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