Temporary Exmouth seafront attraction set for extended stay

The Queen's Drive Space in Exmouth. Picture: East Devon District Council

The Queen's Drive Space in Exmouth. Picture: East Devon District Council - Credit: East Devon District Council

Temporary attractions on Exmouth seafront are set for a stay of execution after it was revealed a planning application has been submitted to keep them for a further year.

The permission for the ‘Queen’s Drive Space’ was due to lapse in March next year, but now East Devon District Council (EDDC) is seeking a 12-month extension for the temporary attractions.

If given the go-ahead by district council planners, the attractions – originally intended to stop the former Exmouth Fun Park site going derelict - will remain on Exmouth seafront until at least March 2020.

The plot has been earmarked for a mix of leisure facilities in phase three of the Exmouth seafront regeneration scheme.

In the planning application’s support statement, Alison Hayward, the district council’s senior manager of regeneration and economic development, said: “The council now has the ability to undertake the development as approved but this will not happen immediately.

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“With that in mind, the council wishes to continue operating the temporary attractions from the site for another year until March 2020, after the current temporary permission expires in March 2019.”

EDDC says that the feedback it got from a survey taken of space users was ‘overwhelmingly positive’.

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According to the district council, a 2016 questionnaire revealed that the previous seafront leisure uses were ‘not a big pull’ for visitors.

This new survey was based on 500 face to face interviews and more 550 online forms.

Results show that nearly two thirds of those polled said the new attractions were the reason for their visit.

Councillor Phillip Skinner, EDDC’s portfolio holder for the economy, and chairman of the Exmouth Regeneration group, said: “I am greatly encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive findings of the visitor survey.

“To hear people say that it is a real credit to Exmouth and that it has influenced their decision to visit is great to hear and demonstrates that the council’s decision to bring new and fresh attractions to the seafront is truly vindicated.

“A planning application has been submitted and we hope to have more food and events come the spring.”

The district council’s own development management committee will have the final say on the temporary attractions application at a date yet to be set.

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