No ‘current intention’ to move Exmouth seafront road early

PUBLISHED: 06:30 20 May 2016

Initial concept plan for the proposed watersports centre for Exmouth seafront, published last year.

Initial concept plan for the proposed watersports centre for Exmouth seafront, published last year.

Archant

Council bosses have said they will not re-route Queen’s Drive until plans for a new watersports centre are given the go-ahead.

The road is due to be re-directed to make way for the proposed centre – phase two of East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) seafront redevelopment plans.

A ‘stopping up’ order for the road has now been issued by the Department for Transport, prompting concerns from town councillors that work could start before the new centre is approved.

Planning permission has already been granted to re-route Queen’s Drive – behind the current car park, between the old lifeboat station and the Maer – but an application for the new watersports centre has not yet been submitted by developer Grenadier.

At the town council meeting, Councillor Fred Caygill said: “Is there any inherent danger that if the road realignment goes ahead, the proposed development by Grenadier could fall through, and then we’re left with a dog-leg of a road and no development?

“I’m just worried that the road goes ahead and someone says ‘no, we don’t want to do [the development]’.”

Councillor Tim Dumper added: “If the road is stopped up, it could be stopped up for ages while we’re thinking about what Grenadier or anybody else might do, and we’ve got a problem then, haven’t we?”

Cllr Dumper added that he thought the moving of the road, along with the rest of the redevelopment, should not go ahead before further independent consultation was carried out, in line with the result of the recent parish poll.

In response, an EDDC spokesperson said there was no ‘current intention’ to begin work on the road before a watersports centre was approved.

The spokesperson added: “East Devon District Council welcomes the Department for Transport’s approval of the stopping up order for the road at Queen’s Drive.

“This enables the council to start work on the road and car park once planning permission for the watersports centre is in place.

“There is no current intention to start works before that time. The existing road and car park will continue to be open while the new road and car park are being built so traffic flow and car park availability at Queen’s Drive will continue.

“As part of the planning process to deliver the watersports centre on the old car park site, Grenadier will carry out full consultation with the Exmouth community so that people have a chance to understand and have their say about the plans and influence the proposals before they go the council’s development management committee for decision.

“When the planning application is made, then people will have a further opportunity to express their views on the plans.”

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