M&S planning application goes in for Exmouth Bus Station

PUBLISHED: 09:15 27 November 2015 | UPDATED: 09:16 27 November 2015

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A formal planning application has been submitted for an M&S food store on the site of Exmouth Bus Station.

In the submission, the applicants set out the benefits they feel the store could bring to Exmouth, and also explain why other suggested supermarket locations in the town - London Inn car park and Exmouth Rugby Club - would not be suitable.

An East Devon District Council (EDDC) members’ advisory panel previously suggested those sites – which EDDC owns – could be used instead of the bus station, in Royal Avenue, owned by Devon County Council. Within the M&S proposal, applicant Kilo Properties states that the alternative sites were looked into, but were found wanting.

The application states: “While EDDC may consider the London Inn car park to be available for redevelopment, the post office depot and Jewsons are occupied and not immediately available.

“The site is unavailable, unsuitable and unviable to accommodate the application proposals.”

Regarding the rugby club site, the application states: “The site is currently unavailable as no firm plans to relocate the rugby club have been secured.

“It is also not realistic to assume that Kilo/M&S could deliver this complex site. Whilst the site is large enough to accommodate the application proposals, the draft [EDDC Exmouth Masterplan] and council aspirations are for a large format foodstore, which would compete on a more equal footing with Tesco.

“Delivery of the application proposals on this site, even if the site were available, would not realise the perceived local potential of this site or scale of foodstore the council is seeking.”

The M&S plan is for a 1,486 square metre store, with a 63-space car park.

The application states: “Overall, the foodstore is of modest scale and, to put in context, similar to the existing Co-op foodstore in the town centre.”

The store, which is expected to create 50 to 55 job opportunities, is billed as having the potential to form a ‘catalyst for wider regeneration’ in the town.

The planning application will first be considered by Exmouth Town Council’s planning committee at its meeting on Monday. EDDC will then decide on permission.

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