Temporary seafront car park plan approved - but only until September 2020
PUBLISHED: 10:07 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:15 10 July 2019
Land previously home to family-run seafront attractions in Exmouth will become an overflow car park - but only for the next 14 months.
East Devon District Council's own plans for around 50 new car parking spaces to be provided on a plot of land off Queen's Drive were approved on Tuesday (July 9) afternoon.
The site, next to the Queen's Drive Space, was home to Railway Carriage Café before it re-located to Cornwall.
Rather than the three-year temporary permission council officers had wanted, the authority's development management committee agreed the temporary permission would run out on September 15, 2020.
Speaking at the meeting, Littleham ward councillor Bruce de Saram said that as nothing else is happening with the site immediately, a car park as a temporary measure makes sense.
He added: "Seaside towns do need to provide parking for visitors and this would provide parking for temporarily.
"The application should have been thought out better, but rather than left as it is, it will perform a useful function in peak times when the watersports centre is occupied."
Fellow ward councillor, Nick Hookway, said the application was unjustified, unnecessary and unhelpful. He said: "This land has been designated for recreation and leisure in the masterplan and during this long redevelopment of Queen's Drive a significant amount of play space has already been lost."
Cllr Tom Wright said that he thought the scheme was terrible waste of an opportunity to do something useful with this piece of land.
However, Cllr Helen Parr, speaking in support of the proposal, said: "If an application for entertainment use came forward we would all cheer.
"But I don't see why we don't approve this in the meantime and then work to come forward with something else for the site."
Proposing the scheme be approved, Cllr Paul Arnott said: "I don't understand why we need it for three years.
"Why cannot it just be done for this year and that takes care of the worries of the people of Exmouth that it will be used for forever."
He proposed that the temporary permission for the car park would last until September 15, 2020.
The committee voted in favour of it.