Revamp for centre?

PUBLISHED: 14:57 28 November 2009 | UPDATED: 12:23 10 June 2010

PRIME town centre land could be opened up for new housing, business and shopping while new jobs will be created if the expansion of Liverton Business Park gets the green light.

PRIME town centre land could be opened up for new housing, business and shopping while new jobs will be created if the expansion of Liverton Business Park gets the green light.

Owners Clinton Devon Estates will submit plans to East Devon District Council before Christmas - and they have already approached town centre businesses like Jewsons and the Post Office about relocating.

Five hectares of land to the north of the Park could be developed, and an extra 10,000 sq metres of business space could be created to add to the 18 existing businesses.

Residents will also benefit with an extension of a cycle and footpath link to nearby communities.

To address environmental concerns, Clinton Devon Estates will preserve existing hedges and ancient oak trees, as well as starting a new tree planting programme. And they are working with Devon-based architects MTA, chartered town planners Bell Cornwell LLP and Peter Brett Associates, specialists in sustainable transport and land developments.

Liverton Business Park, which won the coveted John Wheatley Award for the Best Business Park in the South West in South West in Bloom 2009, was established in the early 1990s.

John Bain, land agent for Clinton Devon Estates, says the new development is not for retail use: "There is a serious shortage of employment land, particularly in Exeter and East Devon.

"A growing number of businesses and organisations need out-of-town office space for their staff and we believe Liverton is able to meet that need.

"Another benefit of creating employment space at Liverton is that it is likely to provide some of the larger businesses currently in the town centre with the opportunity to move to a more suitable location.

"This, in turn, will pave the way for the long-awaited regeneration of Exmouth Town Centre."

Exmouth mayor Darryl Nicholas said: "It would be inappropriate to pre-judge or discuss any particular application before it comes to council.

"However, an increase in job provision in Exmouth over the next few years is incredibly important to the future of the town.

"If we want the town to have a sustainable and vibrant future, then it is imperative that we are able to keep people of working age living here by offering more employment opportunities in the local area."

Letters will be sent to residents, current tenants at Liverton, local organisations and other stakeholders who are being invited to give their comments and suggestions.

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