New M&S store ‘really good news for Exmouth’

M and S store may be coming to Exmouth

M and S store may be coming to Exmouth - Credit: Archant

Marks & Spencer will file a planning application for a new estuary-side food hall within weeks, the Journal understands.

Once given the green light, the new 9,000 sq ft store will be built behind, and linked to, the railway station.

It will be developed alongside a fully integrated transport interchange for bus, train and taxi.

The graphics for the store - which are being published exclusively by the Journal - show the entrance to the car park as if you are standing with your back to the Duck Pond, on Royal Avenue.

To the left, a wall appears to separate the planned M&S car park from the lorry park.

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In the distance, to the left of the store entrance, is the train platform and station’s ‘back’ entrance.

The plans follow an M&S project team privately briefing town councillors about the proposals on Monday night.

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Earlier this year, Devon County Council, which owns the site, confirmed it was ‘willing’ to sell the depot to the retail giant. The plans mark the firmest proposals for a new store on the ‘estuaryside’ since Asda pulled the plug on a supermarket almost seven years ago.

Retail bosses say the new store, which, according to the graphics, will be two and possibly three-storeys high, would create at least 50 jobs.

The store will be joined to a new interchange - work has already begun, with station access and the forecourt improved and a crossing added in Marine Way. An upgrade of the ageing booking hall is also planned.

The combined project would give the dilapidated ‘gateway’ to the Jurassic Coast, along Marine Way, a make-over and offer passengers a one-stop shop for refreshments at one of the busiest branch line stations in the region.

Exmouth mayor Maddie Chapman said: “It’s really good news for Exmouth. They [M&S] have really done their research by integrating the new store with a new transport interchange. The plans look fantastic.”

A spokesman for Devon County Council added: “We’re still in talks with the developer over the scheme, but are yet to receive the formal proposals.

“However, contracts for the site have been exchanged with the developer, subject to planning.

“Alongside the developer’s application, we are working on the detail of the transport interchange which we’re proposing for the area.”

M&S declined to comment.

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