It's time for 'imagination'

Please allow me to correct the mistake in the letter from Mrs Mason published last week. The Exmouth Community Association has, at no stage, taken a negative attitude towards the ASDA proposal. Whereas the Exmouth Citizens' Forum and the Exmouth Resident

Please allow me to correct the mistake in the letter from Mrs Mason published last week. The Exmouth Community Association has, at no stage, taken a negative attitude towards the ASDA proposal. Whereas the Exmouth Citizens' Forum and the Exmouth Residents' Association made early decisions to oppose the development, the Exmouth Community Association decided not to come to a firm view until the planning application was made, which never happened. Our approach was to state clearly to the developers, East Devon District Council and the public our concerns about size, location and traffic. We engaged in direct discussions with EDDC and with the developers to do what we could towards plans which would be acceptable. We stated from the outset that we believe Exmouth needs a new supermarket in the central business area.That is all water under the bridge and we must now look to the future. So we are organising a session on March 31, for ECA members only, to share their ideas on how they want the town to develop. We are calling this event 'Imagine Exmouth'. New members can join at the door, on payment of a subscription.This is a crucial time. Changes are already evident on the seafront, imminent in The Strand and expected on the estuary. More housing is planned, stores are changing hands, being built or extending. Traffic is increasing, parking is harder to find and we are encouraged to use public transport. All of this is in the context of uncertainty about the economy and the climate.Exmouth has much to be proud of and much to protect - but, inevitably, there will be more developments. We will be seeking answers to many vital questions, such as:l What sort of town do we want Exmouth to be?l How do we retain our environmental assets without stopping development?l What employment fits the town best?l How do we make it easier to reduce car use?l What arts, community, shopping, leisure and sports facilities do we need?l How should we improve learning opportunities?l What housing and infrastructure is needed?l How can everyone feel included in deciding what happens?There are no easy answers, but we are working together to find the best possible.Roy Pryke, Chairman, Exmouth Community Association.


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