Site superstore out of town

PUBLISHED: 10:43 05 November 2010

Archant

I am writing in response to various articles and letters in the Journal of October 28.

Firstly, the apparent re-opening of the debate on whether we want/need a major supermarket development near the estuary.

I completely fail to understand the logic of this idea. We were told by East Devon District Council that this would “regenerate the town”, whereas what it would do is take away trade from the butchers, bakers and greengrocers. You also reported the possible closure of Stokes Greengrocers and Somerfield (now to become the Co-op).

What, in fact, would happen is that people would merely drive to the supermarket, stock up and drive away again and, if it were a supermarket such as Sainsbury’s, which sells clothes, would also detrimentally affect town centre clothing stores.

It would also cause even more congestion on the A376 (as commented on in your letters page).

I, personally, would love to have a Waitrose in Exmouth – I go to the one in Sidmouth once or twice a month. But, Sidmouth, home of the EDDC, would not tolerate a supermarket spoiling its seafront and I believe that an estuaryside supermarket would harm our estuary environment and wildlife. Site it out of town!

I have no faith in our planners, who have allowed monstrous over-development of the marina. Don’t get me wrong, I like much of it, but the latest huge orange monstrosity, which totally obscures views of the estuary, should never have been approved, and the bowling alley development is way too high and obscures yet more views.

Why did the council not include a bistro or café in the marina development, overlooking the estuary, which would have been a magnet for tourists and residents alike?

I am also unsure about the development of The Strand. I will reserve judgement until it is complete, but it has cost a lot of money and heaven knows what the tourists thought of it all being done at the height of the season.

Finally, the new bin collection system. It’s OK for me, personally; my bins are at the front of the house and I just have to carry them to the kerbside for collection. But I have friends who have to carry their bins through their houses for collection at the front – because collections at the rear alleyway have ceased – and an elderly relative (who has been an enthusiastic recycler, taking her stuff up to the tip) who cannot understand the new system, especially the recycling of food waste. Will she be fined for putting things in the wrong bins?

Like so many things, these changes have just not been thought through. We do not live in a ‘one size fits all’ society and it’s about time that planners realised this.

I love Exmouth; I was brought up here. Apart from 14 years in the Midlands and London, I have lived here all my life, choosing to return to bring up my family.

But I do believe that over-development (and wrong development) could cost Exmouth dear. I am all in favour of progress, but we need to preserve the character of the town and I just don’t believe that the current planners are up to the task.

L Gorman,

Langstone Drive, Exmouth.

PS: And let’s save Elizabeth Hall!

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