Kite ban; deal brokered
KITE sports enthusiasts got some good news as progress was made regulating the sport on the Imperial Recreation Ground – and signs banning the sport to be removed.
KITE sports enthusiasts got some good news as progress was made regulating the sport on the Imperial Recreation Ground - and signs banning the sport to be removed.
In July kite surfers were angered when health and safety chiefs implemented a surprise ban on the Imperial Recreation Ground without consultation.
A sign was put up by East Devon District Council saying 'No power kites over 2m; no kite buggies; no kite boards' because of safety fears.
The Imperial recreation Ground is one of the premier training grounds for fledgling kite surfers in the country - Exmouth's kite surfing world Champion Steph Roswell has even set up her shop and coaching courses there.
But at a meeting brokered by Exmouth Chamber of Commerce, including officers from East Devon District Council and representatives of Exmouth's kite sports fraternity, a fresh code of practice and a new set of signs were drawn up.
These will allow the sport to be enjoyed without any threat to the safety of the public using the recreation ground.
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These ideas will form part of a report sent to EDDC's Executive Board later this year, with a recommendation that the byelaws for the recreation ground be amended slightly to accommodate kite sports.
The proposals will be subject to consultation with Ward Members and with Exmouth Town Council.
The aim is to have a clear set of comprehensive rules and signage in place in plenty of time for the 2010 kite sports season.
A spokesman for the district council said: "In the meantime, the current set of signs will shortly be taken down and, by agreement; the user groups will self-police the sport to ensure that there is no adverse impact on users of the Imperial Recreation Ground."
Nigel Wilkinson, Chairman of Exmouth Chamber of Commerce, said he was delighted with the outcome of the latest set of talks, which were conducted "in a great spirit of co-operation between all parties to find an acceptable route forward.