Planning officers back Exmouth bowling alley plans

SCORES of people concerned with a lack of development at Exmouth s seafront bowling alley packed into Gunfield Gardens for a meeting with the owner of the complex. Around 100 people, some of whom supported the development, attended a question and answer s

SCORES of people concerned with a lack of development at Exmouth's seafront bowling alley packed into Gunfield Gardens for a meeting with the owner of the complex.

Around 100 people, some of whom supported the development, attended a question and answer session with owner Mark Quinn, and John Staszewski, the centre's architect.

The meeting, held last Monday, May 25, took place just days after planning officers at East Devon District Council recommended approval for a revised planning application.

The plans, which will be decided upon at an EDDC development management committee meeting on June 1, call for a further increase in the height of the centre.


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It is proposed to increase the height, already built higher than approved in 2007, to overcome structural problems - outlined by Mr Quinn at the public meeting - associated with the internal floors.

The height and size of the proposed wind turbines has also changed, while the siting of the southern wind turbines has been altered so that they are sited further to the south.

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The planning officers recommend that the amended application should be approved, with no fewer than 15 conditions imposed on the developer.

They include finishing materials, lighting, noise reduction, delivery times, opening times of retail units and times of working on site - all designed for the protection of people living in the vicinity.

In their report to the committee, the planning officers say: "Clearly the site occupies a prominent position within the street scene and along the sea front and as such it is important that any design forms an attractive feature when viewed from all public vantage points.

"The proposed increase in height is relatively minor when compared with the previously approved overall height of just over 13 metres at its highest point.

"The issue to be considered is therefore whether or not this increase has sufficient cumulative impact when considered on top of what has already been approved to render it unacceptable."

The report, which can be viewed in full on EDDC's website, also raises the issue of generation of power on the site.

Mr Quinn and Staszewski used the meeting held this week as an opportunity to dismiss speculation over what has caused a delay in the centre being built.

When quizzed about the true reason construction work to stop, they said structural problems were identified with the floors inside the building during a routine inspection.

Mr Quinn said: "As soon as the problems became evident, measures were put in place to rectify the situation.

"I can't put enough emphasis on the fact that the delay has hurt me financially. I will not give in and want to finish this. It is a fantastic facility."

They said as soon as a resolution was found as to how to rectify the technical problem they had encountered, they did not expect it to take more than six months to complete the centre.

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