Stuart Line bid to keep temporary base

THE town hall has backed a bid by Stuart Line Cruises to keep their temporary seafront booking office indefinitely despite concerns.

THE town hall has backed a bid by Stuart Line Cruises to keep their temporary seafront booking office indefinitely despite concerns.

At the General Purposes Committee last week, town councillors backed owner of Stuart Line Cruises, Ian Stuart, to renew permission for his Mamhead Slipway premises.

Mr Stuart was granted temporary permission and then a three year lease in 2007 at the Mamhead Gardens based on plans to incorporate a new permanent office in the FWS Carter’s new development at the Pier Head.

But the plans, which also included a Jurassic coast interpretation centre on the same site, have been shelved for the time being because of funding problems.


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East Devon District Council’s property surveyor Rob Speers said: “There seems to be a view that Mr Stuart should be encouraged to seek an alternative more permanent facility for his booking office, possibly in rented accommodation at the docks.

“However, I’m consulting with the elected ward members to seek their views…”

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Councillor Steve Gazzard said Stuart Lines, which employs 50 staff on six boats, was an ‘excellent tourist attraction’ and attracted 250,000 visitors a year, 140,000 from the Pier Head.

Cllr. Eileen Wragg said: “I believe that we should fully support this application.

“Stuart Lines bring tens of thousands of visitors to Exmouth, East Devon and the South West year upon year.

“It is a vital part of the economy, locally and regionally. It adds value to Exmouth’s greatest asset which is the Exe, which has been accorded international recognition as a RAMSAR site, a Special Protection Area and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.”

The plans will now be considered by EDDC.

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