It was a done deal

We, as traders, welcome investment into Exmouth, as long as it is not detrimental to existing businesses.

The planned introduction of a 90-seater restaurant/caf� into the Strand Gardens will harm the majority of all food outlets currently trading in this area.

At no stage in the planning consultation/non-consultation were we briefed that this was even a consideration for The Strand. It is highly immoral for East Devon District Council to go into direct competition with local business and, at the same time, demand business rates off these very people they are competing with.

EDDC states that they need the revenue from this building to help maintain The Strand. In my opinion, they are going to need a lot more to police it, if, and when, they grant themselves a licence to serve alcohol over a long trading period.

I do find it very sad when Exmouth Town Council turns down the application because this is not what Exmouth wants or needs, only for councillors from EDDC, who do not live or trade here, tell us it is what you need and also what you are getting. I would also like to know why EDDC were going out to tender for this building back in January, when they only got themselves planning approval on March 8 – done deal, no less.

It would also have been beneficial for Exmouth town councillors to attend the March 8 meeting as it was obviously Exmouth’s last chance to clearly state what we want.

I certainly welcome the regeneration of the Strand Gardens and do believe, if the gardens are used correctly, they will make a great venue for a whole host of activities, performances and outdoor events.

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I do wish, though, that, instead of spending �1,200 for each of those metal waste paper bins (yes, �1,200!), they could have put arm rests on the benches, therefore depriving the skateboarders of a ramp and also giving the elderly an opportunity to stand up once they had made the mistake of sitting down on one of them.

The Strand Gardens should be for the benefit of everyone in Exmouth, not a source of council revenue.

Jerry Miller

Manager – Exmouth Indoor Market,

12 The Strand, Exmouth.