Row over EDDC plans to fill in seafront boating lakes and move road

PUBLISHED: 06:30 23 November 2015

The Exmouth boating lake. Ref exe 4409-47-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

The Exmouth boating lake. Ref exe 4409-47-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Archant

Plans to pave over an Exmouth seafront tourist attraction to create a compound for building contractors have sparked concerns over a lack of consultation by district bosses.

Exmouth Fun Park, in Queen’s Drive, is in the area East Devon District Council (EDDC) wants to redevelop with new buildings and leisure facilities – the so-called Splash.

Redevelopment of the fun park was not scheduled to occur until ‘phase three’ of this plan, earmarked for a later date.

However, EDDC now says it needs to fill in the park’s two boating lakes sooner, in order to create a site compound for contractors working on phase one of the redevelopment – the realignment of Queen’s Drive.

The plan to move the road is in a separate planning application, which was backed by a majority of members of Exmouth Town Council’s planning committee – although some said it was premature with detailed plans for the whole area not yet revealed.

However, considering an application to fill in the lakes, councillors voted to defer until legal action regarding the site had been concluded, and a public consultation could be carried out.

Councillor Maddy Chapman said: “I ask this be deferred until after the court cases, and until we know what’s happening, and we can go out to public consultation and we all know what we’re doing.”

Councillor Steve Gazzard said: “The whole idea, as I understand it, was to see what the people of Exmouth would like to see on that site.

“If you are going to fill in two ponds, I take it, rightly or wrongly, that a decision has already been made. I don’t like that.”

An EDDC spokesman said: “The applications considered by Exmouth Town Council have been submitted to ensure that the relocation of the road and car park can move forward at the earliest opportunity. We are currently going through a legal process with the fun park tenant and it would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage.”

EDDC planners will decide on permission.

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