Losing our views

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 March 2013

Regarding the formal planning permission in building a Premier Inn of four floors on this small area of land on the Exmouth seafront, and a car park for 60 cars.

This site is not appropriate in size for such a development in the proximity of the seafront, with car parking for 60 cars at the rear of what is a sensitive area of Madeira Walk and Bath Road.

This area has an old world charm that needs tidying up, with The Beacon and church steeple in the background, which at the moment can been seen from above the roof line of the Elizabeth Hall while walking on the promenade.

This will no longer be possible from the artist’s impression as shown in the Journal and of which we have not seen any detail of the rear end.

The placement of a Premier Inn will never compensate for lost local views. This has clearly happened with the new development of the already built bowling alley – our council emphasising its opening, with approval of its design and the front fascia, but overlooking its ugly back side, the lost views from Carlton Hill, its inhospitable Madeira walk way,and lost views of the gardens.

Now we are being asked to applaud EDDC for a new large development of a Premier Inn.

By no stretch of imagination can this latest acquisition be presumed to be the ideal and the logical hub for the many people walking from the town, through the Manor Gardens along the Bath Road and on to the promenade, unless it was going to be a first class heritage centre, which could attract many visitors if given the chance to show what the community are capable of.

Whitbread’s Premier Inn could be built anywhere else in the district of Exmouth and achieve all the attributes which EDDC is now claiming for itself in having it as an icon for Exmouth.

Exmouth has never had the intended Jurassic tourist centre and a registrar office for the seaside weddings it so deserves.

With imagination, this old Victorian building should have been restored and paid for by subscription as a public facility, and for the benefit of the whole community.

Council management has shown a slant interest in such a community venture, and has been biased towards a large company in expropriating this property.

In doing so, EDDC has been insensitive in their dealings in the submissions that have been put forward from those who would rather have repaired and restored this building into something all residents could be so proud of.

Even at this late stage our council should rescind this new unveiled scheme and discuss a new site for Whitbread.

I am sure they will still be willing to make their financial contribution providing our EDDC give them the first chance to have an amount of ground which will not have the hostile effect that has been shown in this decision in selling the Elizabeth Hall.

I realise we have those who want us to move on into the future, but please make sure that what our council do will improve what Exmouth should expect to have and not what EDDC want us to have.

Alec Huett

(via email)

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