Future of Exmouth seafront development one step closer to be being decided

The Queen's Drive Space in Exmouth. Picture: Daniel Clark

The Queen's Drive Space in Exmouth. Picture: Daniel Clark - Credit: Daniel Clark

The future of Exmouth seafront is one step closer to being decided.

The current plans for the third phase of the Exmouth seafront redevelopment include a waterfront restaurant and an 80-bedroom hotel, as well as an area for play and leisure uses, and back in February, the cabinet agreed to launch a marketing exercise.

But the decision was called in and the council’s scrutiny committee in March agreed that the membership of a panel agreeing the selection criteria for marketing it to developers was not properly balanced.

East Devon District Council unanimously backed that recommendation on Thursday night and sent it back to the cabinet to make the final decision when they next meet.

But following the formation of a new administration and the coronavirus pandemic having occurred since the original decision over the seafront, the council has already said that it will ‘re-engage with a new consensus’ for how best to proceed with the Queen’s Drive site.

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Henry Gordon Lennox, the council’s strategic lead for governance, told a virtual meeting of the full council that things had changed since the debate initially took place pre-lockdown and said the cabinet will be looking at the issue of Queen’s Drive soon anyway.

He added: “I recommend that this is fed back to cabinet, where it will need to go anyway, in their future consideration of the matter.”

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The next cabinet meeting is scheduled to take place on September 30, when it is expected the Queen’s Drive issue will be on the agenda.

An East Devon District Council spokesman, when asked to clarify the latest on the phase 3 proposals, said: “‘The Council now has a new administration.

“Combined with the economic impact of Covid 19 and our departure from the EU the opportunity will be taken this autumn to reflect upon the proposals and ambitions for the Queen’s Drive area and re-engage with a new consensus for how might be the best way of progressing matters.”

Phase 1 of the Exmouth seafront project – the realigning of the Queen’s Drive road – has been complete, while Phase 2, the watersports centre, is now set to open in the autumn following delays in the completion phase due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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