'Preserve library' appeal
PUBLISHED: 16:43 23 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:33 10 June 2010
SATURDAY, AUGUST 23: A BRIXINGTON couple have enlisted the support of town planners in a campaign to shield Exmouth's 131-year-old library from developers. Jeanne and David Jones, of the Marles, have the backing of two Lib Dem members of the planning committee, Steve Gazzard
A BRIXINGTON couple have enlisted the support of town planners in a campaign to shield Exmouth's 131-year-old library from developers.Jeanne and David Jones, of the Marles, have the backing of two Lib Dem members of the planning committee, Steve Gazzard and Ian Stewart to get the Victorian library, the 'original Exeter Road School, listed.They say the library is one of about a dozen buildings in the town, including the former Exmouth Public Hall - now the Savoy Cinema - needing protection by English Heritage.If granted it would put provide an additional hurdle for developers to overcome - a new library could be built as part of the Asda development, clearing the way for the county council to sell the Exeter Road building to the highest bidder. David's father was a pupil at the school and he said: "You look at the development of the Magnolia Centre, and I don't think it was done very sensitively."The whole area has buildings of that era that are worth preserving."Many of Exmouth's fondly remembered buildings are knocked down to make way for new developments, such as the old customs house that used to grace the docks before the marina was built."It would be appalling if the library was demolished to make way for housing." Steve Gazzard's grandmother, mother, aunts and uncles were all pupils at the school and fondly remembers his mother describing the little wooden chairs and desks with inkwells before the school closed - and she moved to the 'new' Exeter Road School across the road."Can you imagine what it was like living in Exmouth in 1877?" he said."Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in January and Exmouth Public Hall was built for the huge sum of £3500 in August of that year."I have been approached by several townspeople worried at the prospect that this important building may be lost in the future developments affecting Exmouth. "At present the Library is felt by some to be too small for the town's needs, and the building could well be drastically altered to accommodate current requirements. "So much of Exmouth's heritage has been lost over the years, and we need to preserve this for future generations."He said councillors were surprised to discover the library was not listed.