Strand future: 2,200 comments

PUBLISHED: 15:42 13 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:47 10 June 2010

MORE than 2,200 comments have been received from the public and traders during a consultation into the Exmouth Strand. The response to the public exhibition in June and following the event was so enthusiastic that comments continued to be sent in for seve

MORE than 2,200 comments have been received from the public and traders during a consultation into the Exmouth Strand.The response to the public exhibition in June and following the event was so enthusiastic that comments continued to be sent in for several weeks after the planned deadline. All of these comments will now be used to inform the next stages of the consultation about future enhancement of the area.The consultation event and exhibition was organised by Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Exmouth Town Council and the Town Management Partnership to seek views on the area.The overall appearance of The Strand generated the biggest response, with most people keen to retain or increase the green space and, although most people wanted the raised plant beds removed, they still wanted the planting improved and increased. Significant support was raised for some form of pedestrianisation of The Strand, but not for the whole area. The majority of responses also backed the idea of the space being used more for outdoor entertainment, markets and events.Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council Executive Member for Environment, said: "This consultation has been a very worthwhile exercise and has produced an important understanding of exactly what residents value and what they consider The Strand should offer. "It has been vital to listen to people's views to guide any future enhancement of The Strand, which is a key area in the heart of the town"Exmouth deserves a world standard public space to complement its role as a gateway town to the Jurassic Coast."Councillor Eileen Wragg, Devon County Councillor for Exmouth Littleham and Town and East Devon District Councillor for Exmouth Town Ward, said: "It is essential the public has a major part to play in the future of developments and improvements in Exmouth. "Devon County Council has a good reputation for consulting with residents about changes which might affect them and this is one more example of full consultation at its best. "Exmothians are very proud of their town and there is no reason why The Strand should not become a national hallmark of quality standards which can be held up as an achievement which other civic centres could emulate."Councillor Darryl Nicholas, East Devon District Council's Champion for Exmouth, said: "All three local councils are united in wanting to see improvements to The Strand. "I hope and believe that, when these take shape, they will define our blueprint for the town and reflect our community's triple offerings of leisure, arts and environment. "This is part of a joined-up effort to re-establish Exmouth in its rightful place as a vibrant seaside resort."I'm pleased with the level of interest shown and we welcome and value the ideas of residents, traders and business people for improving not only the physical space but the ambience for the people who live here and the thousands of visitors who love Exmouth and contribute to its economy."Tony Collins, Exmouth Town Centre Manager, said: "Exmouth's Town Management Partnership has always recognised that enhancements to The Strand are vital to the future success of Exmouth's town centre economy. "It is great to think that the process has begun to create a public space that will encourage local people and visitors to enjoy what our town centre can offer."Other points that were raised included: l A clear majority of people want to keep and improve the war memorial in its current position; l There was some support for parking to be either removed or reduced and also for relocating, or splitting, the taxi rank;l There was an even split of those who did and did not want some form of art or landmark feature in The Strand, but some welcomed the idea of a water feature;l The amount of litter, especially takeaway litter, was a concern for people. The comments will form the basis of further public consultation planned to take place later this year, as part of the next stage of the process.

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