Exmouth seafront overflow car park to remain ‘in absence of alternative plans’

The plot of land in Queen's Drive where the district council will install a temporary overflow car p

The plot of land in Queen's Drive where the district council will install a temporary overflow car park. Picture: Daniel Wilkins - Credit: Archant

Concerns have been raised over the long-term use of an Exmouth seafront site currently being used as a temporary overflow car park.

Temporary planning permission to use the plot in Queen’s Drive to supplement parking on the seafront expires in September and town councillors have raised fears over plans to continue that use.

The area of land, next to the Queen’s Drive Space, has previously been home to a miniature railway and the Carriage Café.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) existing permission to use the land as an overflow car park runs out on September 15 and the limit for temporary applications for the site has been reached.

Exmouth town councillors want the plot to return to leisure use after that date.

However, EDDC say they intend the area to continue to be a car parking facility ‘in the absence of any alternative plans’ for the time being.

READ MORE: District council set to ‘re-engage’ over the future of Queen’s Drive development

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Speaking at a virtual town council on Monday (August 3), Cllr Brian Bailey called for the town council to lobby EDDC to return the site to recreation use.

He said he was told by a district council officer the temporary car park would be taken over by the authority for car parking ‘by default’ when the temporary permission expires.

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He added: “Whatever happens in September will be permanent. We need to lobby the district council to return it to use for leisure activities.”

District councillor Paul Millar, who sits on the cabinet, told the town council that the make-up of the Exmouth Queen’s Drive Delivery Group will be ratified at the next full council meeting later this month and the panel will look at the issue then.

Cllr Olly Davey is also a district councillor who was on the development management committee which granted temporary permission for the overflow car park.

He said: “The permission runs out in September and a new application will be needed. It cannot automatically become an EDDC car park.”

Cllr Aurora Bailey added: “That land was for leisure and recreation not for car parks.”

An EDDC spokesman said: “In the absence of any alternative plans East Devon District Council intend to make this additional car parking capacity available for the town’s visitors for the time being.”

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