First formal 'no' to ASDA store

PUBLISHED: 02:01 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:58 10 June 2010

ASDA plans for an estuary-side superstore have met their first formal opposition the Exmouth Residents' Association has voted against the proposals. The group's annual meeting took the majority decision to oppose on the grounds that plans for a superma

ASDA plans for an estuary-side superstore have met their first formal opposition - the Exmouth Residents' Association has voted against the proposals.The group's annual meeting took the majority decision to oppose on the grounds that plans for a supermarket, library, leisure centre, visitor centre and apartments by The Exe do not add up.Traffic and parking issues and the location's scenic beauty form the backbone of the association's contention.In a statement issued on behalf of the ERA, chairman Geoff Morris said: "The association is not necessarily against another supermarket elsewhere in town, nor is it against ASDA/Walmart. "It accepts the estuary-side needs to be 'tidied up', however this is simply the wrong place to build a superstore."Members believe that a development on the scale proposed is inappropriate beside the estuary, a Site of Scientific Special Interest, registered under the Ramsar Convention for Wetlands."The group, 'dismayed' at a lack of public consultation on current proposals, pointed to decision makers' statements on the future of the site to back their argument. In February 2006, East Devon District Council leader Sara Randall Johnson said: "We will now not be able to offer them [supermarkets] the site." Then EDDC-commissioned consultation on the location of a visitor centre paid tribute to the area - saying: "The sweep into Exmouth along Marine Way affords impressive views over the Exe Estuary... it is an... enthralling part of the waterfront."An ERA member's independent report has estimated that ASDA traffic would double the burden on Marine Way. The association says town centre ASDA parking would be filled by supermarket customers, leaving town shoppers and doctors' surgery visitors stuck at a distant proposed leisure centre car park.The association - which appealed for new members to aid its campaign - called for landscaped parkland at the estuary to reflect the 'town council slogan Exmouth Naturally - arts, leisure and environment'.The ERA statement said: "ERA believes the town needs this area to provide landscaped parking and a transport interchange. "Future prosperity should be based on the opportunities arising from our increased attractiveness as a leisure and entertainment destination."To join the ERA, contact the chairman on (01395) 222280, or email chairman@exmouthresidents.co.uk

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