New seafront masterplan?

A LACK of facilities for beach users and a raft of new projects on the Esplanade could lead to a seafront masterplan.

A LACK of facilities for beach users and a raft of new projects on the Esplanade could lead to a seafront masterplan.

Councillors at the General Purposes and Regeneration Committee on Monday voted to lobby the district council to draw up a seafront blueprint.

This could run, they said, in concert with the masterplan being drawn up for the Royal Avenue and the London Inn car park sites up to 2025.

Councillors criticised the current 'disjointed' seafront development policy for having no real vision or goal.

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They highlighted a lack of seafront facilities for beach users while councillor Richard Turner called for the town council to back the Exe Rowing Club's bid to take over the old Lifeboat Station currently used by RNLI lifeguards.

Other future developments could include a watersports centre after the district council offered up part of the Beach Gardens for sale or lease.

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While county bosses have also reaffirmed �500,000 for a Jurassic Coast interpretation centre at the Mamhead Slipway and the bowling alley is also well on its way to completion.

Cllr Turner said: "I would like this council to support the rowing club if the lease comes up for renewal.

"The boathouse would be perfect. The rowing club have asked if they would be willing to give it up. The RNLI have not responded.

"They say it being used for beach rescue but nobody I have spoken to has it seen used for anything other than for storage."

Mayor Darryl Nicholas said: "This highlights the problems of the lack of facilities we have had for years.

"We have to look at some kind of outdoor showers for use by the rowing club and watersports enthusiasts of all kinds."

Committee chairman Pauline Stott said that all the regeneration plans were focused on the town centre and there seemed to be no blueprint for the seafront.

She said: "We should ask East Devon to produce for a masterplan for the seafront.

"It's all right doing a bit here and doing a bit there but we need something that links it all up together.

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