PUBLISHED: 14:13 28 January 2011 | UPDATED: 14:16 28 January 2011
I WOULD like to comment and air concerns on the proposed glass and metal structure for The Strand, Exmouth.
1. I viewed the plans and architects’ drawings displayed in the town hall on January 5, 2011.
2. Is the building fit for the proposed uses? The building will be an open structure made of glass and metal. It will be free-standing.
It is to accommodate:
(i) A café/restaurant area for 60-plus covers.
(ii) A supporting kitchen for 60-plus covers.
(iii) A WC
(iv) A rubbish storage area
(v) A performance stage (smaller than that in Manor Gardens)
(vi) A bus shelter
2(a) The working environment:
Glass and metal structures positioned in an exposed, open space facing southwards are notoriously hot to unbearable in the summer and freezing in the winter.
Anyone who has to wait for a bus on a sunny day outside the cinema, or has returned to a car which has been parked in an open, sunny space, or owns a greenhouse, will know that controlling the temperature in such a building is nigh on impossible or very expensive.
The shape of the building and the proposed uses do not lend themselves to the use of blinds; the cost of anti-reflective glass and metal could be great; the movement of people accessing the various areas coupled with the costs would make air-conditioning/heating impractical.
I doubt that adequate ventilation could be provided with windows and vents as this would require staff to open and close the openings and free of air – eg a windy day outside.
My first and main concern is, therefore, the impracticality of the building for the uses proposed.
2(b) The design of the buildings:
Sixty-plus covers generates a lot of daily rubbish and requires a lot of storage space for food, equipment and crockery and utensils. Outside tables and chairs will need to be inside at night (where?). If the architects envisage paper plates and cups and limited food and drink provision, I feel this will be a very unattractive provision.
The performance stage is large enough for single person performances, but not for the Exmouth Town Band. I find it difficult to envisage its use. Surely, a temporary, purpose-provided stage could be erected if, and when, a performance is required. Such a structure could be placed in the shade!
3. The need for the structure/building?
Existing food outlets could be given permission to put tables into this space. They have the facility to provide a wide variety.
Manor Gardens provides a much better (cooler) environment for ‘performances’.
For all these reasons and many more, I do not feel there is justification for expenditure on this building.
Sadly, having thought long and hard about the proposal, I write to strongly object. I feel it will be a costly mistake with no leeway to put right any wrongs.
We were told at the Town Hall that, despite the architects’ drawings, the misleading presentations of being able to see through a glass building was incorrect. People in The Strand will only get glimpses through the openings in the lower part of the building, which will be metal – the glass is high up above most people’s heads.
Sorry, but this is not the building for the site.
Jane M Jerrard
13 Cutters’ Wharf,
Shelly Road, Exmouth.