Who will pay for new scheme?
PUBLISHED: 02:01 23 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:10 10 June 2010
Regarding the new plan for the Chapel Hill roundabout proposed by Devon County Council, I would like to make the following comments: What exactly is a community space ? I assume it is an area open to all on which organised activities may take place from
Regarding the new plan for the Chapel Hill roundabout proposed by Devon County Council, I would like to make the following comments:What exactly is a "community space"? I assume it is an area open to all on which organised activities may take place from time to time. So, why is more space needed immediately adjacent to Manor Gardens, which has an excellent but frankly under-used bandstand built a few years ago at some cost? Exmouth, whatever else it may lack, has plenty of "community space" if one takes into account its beaches, parks, broad pavements along the promenade, the fairly new "cafe quarter" in The Strand and the pedestrianised Magnolia Centre.DCC's urban design officer urges us to "speak up if we have changed our minds" about the scheme. She refers to a consultation - well I try to follow local affairs closely and I don't recall being asked. How many people were polled? Do the results of such a consultation provide the council with an irrevocable mandate for such schemes? Public authorities seem to have a variable approach to public opinion - afterall East Devon Council ignored Exmouth's views, as expressed through the petition against ASDA on the estuary front.Exmouth's planning seems to be so disjointed. A few weeks beforehand your paper detailed a "blueprint" for Exmouth set out by the Mayor and other councillors. I saw no mention of the Chapel Hill scheme, although it may have been in the detail. The scheme will cost up to £400k. This seems an awful lot for paving and a few trees. Where does this money come from? Over the past few years, as an East Devon resident, I have seen my council tax go up above inflation simply to provide essential services and yet funds are not available to keep public conveniences open, repair the Doyle Centre roof, maintain the evening class programme, collect rubbish weekly - I could go on. Whoever pays these costs - EDDC or DCC - there always seems to be a lack of funds. At the same time we are told that a partnership with ASDA Walmart is necessary to "revitalise" Exmouth. Disruption will be minimal. Really? Yet the scheme is estimated to take three months to complete. Whatever the positives for traders in the vicinity once the scheme is finished, I predict that during such an unbelievably long construction phase that some businesses will find their "footfall" will reduce significantly. Has a study on disruption to traders been conducted by DCC?Lastly, why have these dormant plans been revived now, two years after the consultation, at a time when the estuaryside debate is being resurrected? This wouldn't be a smokescreen to divert attention from that battle would it? David Keep,51b Salterton Road,Exmouth.