Seafront ‘splash’ plan criticised


Exmouth - Credit: Archant

Ahead of a special meeting on the future of Exmouth’s seafront ‘splash’ site, a community group has outlined its own vision for the space.

East Devon District Council’s planning application for the site includes water sports and leisure facilities, provision for a hotel or holiday accommodation, and the rerouting of Queen’s Drive along the back of the present car park.

The scheme will be considered at a meeting of Exmouth Town Council on Monday, however at a recent public meeting, the Exmouth Residents’ and Traders’ Association also discussed the plans, and came up with some criticisms.

Chairman Geoff Morris said: “The hotel/holiday complex with its associated car park and access road was felt to be unnecessary. Madeira Walk would become a gloomy corridor and there would be less land for the amusements.

“It was also felt that the costly rerouting of the Queen’s Drive along the back of the present car park could not be justified. Bisecting the amusement area would force children to cross and re-cross a busy road when moving from one amusement to another.

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“Furthermore the revised route takes the road round in front of the Maer. People would have to cross it when going onto the Maer or leaving it. The present seafront road forms an effective barrier catching much of the sand that blows off the beach.”

Mr Morris said people also thought the Harbour View café could be revitalised merely with some refurbishment, and questioned whether the proposed water sports centre would get enough use.

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Regarding leisure facilities: “It was agreed that the amusement area was looking tired, however it was not felt that this justified all that East Devon propose to do. If longer leases were granted existing lessees say they could raise enough money to revitalise the site themselves.

“Everyone agreed that the amusements should concentrate on the under-11s where simple facilities are still appreciated.

“People thought that a covered amusement area for young children would be very popular. It would draw people in when the weather was poor and extend the season.”

The ‘splash’ plan will be considered by the town council at the town hall on Monday at 6.45pm.

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