PUBLISHED: 02:01 30 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:12 10 June 2010
EXETER Road business leaders are anxious that removing Exmouth Library from its site will leave a 'black hole in Exeter Road'. The businesses held a meeting this week to grill Devon County Council representative Ian Harrison on the proposed removal of the
EXETER Road business leaders are anxious that removing Exmouth Library from its site will leave a 'black hole in Exeter Road'.The businesses held a meeting this week to grill Devon County Council representative Ian Harrison on the proposed removal of the library to the ASDA supermarket proposal, if it is approved. The committee of shops, set up after the successful launch of Exeter Road as Devon's Best Kept Secret, raised their concerns about the impact of the move.Roger Helliker, of Dells, said: "It is going to kill us - it's really going to hurt us badly if they move the library."Eddie Cattonach, of Belvedere Furnishings, said: "The library is very close to the school and church and it does attract a certain clientele which is good."I am alarmed to see it going down to the ASDA when some people have ethical views not to shop there."Tony Collins, town manager, said he was determined to lift the road's status and, since the launch of Devon's best kept secret campaign, shopkeepers have reported a rise in business.The main controversy of the resettlement is the diverting of the 4,000 people that visit the library each week towards the estuary which could lead to a downturn of people visiting and shopping in Exeter Road.Mr Harrison, deputy director of environment, economy and culture for DCC, highlighted the fact that the library will only be moved if someone with deep pockets steps in and finances the project because the council does not have the 'budget funding'.He said: "We have got no intention to divert people away from the road - it's about getting people who enjoy shopping in your shops to come back again."It's about getting people to shop in Exeter Road rather than driving to Exeter."The proposed resettlement of the library was suggested by the council because of the need for better services within the library and a bigger building.It has been suggested by DCC that part of the planning package for the development of ASDA may include the developers taking responsibility for the re-settlement of the library on its site.