“A new action group has been launched to ‘save’ Exmouth seafront from developers who plan an £18m redevelopment that will see some of the town’s oldest most popular businesses close.
‘Save Exmouth Seafront’, has been formed by concerned residents from Exmouth and the surrounding area to oppose East Devon District Council’s regeneration proposals for the seafront.
In place of the Railway Carriage Café, the Harbour View Café, the Fun Park, DJ’s Café, Jungle Fun and the Crazy Golf Course there is set to be a multi-screen cinema, an outdoor water splash zone and an adventure golf park along with a seafront restaurant, ground floor cafes with outside seating in the open space areas and a ground floor retail area.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) are behind the development which will see Moirai Capital Investments of Bournemouth putting forward proposals to “breathe new life into the nine–acre council-owned seafront site at Queen’s Drive with a range of exciting leisure facilities.”
Some of Exmouth’s town councillors have expressed reservations when the plans were originally put forward and the traders whose businesses would be demolished are equally concerned. The town council refused to back the scheme in 2013 when it first came up, while earlier this year Dawn Hirst of the Harbour View Café and Chris Wright of the Fun Park both demanded answers to the question mark hanging over their businesses.
Other residents have hit out at the plans with the ‘Save Exmouth Seafront’ group gathering public opinion during the last few weeks through its Seafront Survey, which will be analysed after the closing date of 5 September, with results presented to the Town and District Councils.
Chairperson Roger Thomas says “The change from a well known and much used leisure area, loved both by residents and holiday makers to one of a commercial and residential nature is not an appropriate development for this part of Exmouth seafront, which is a unique asset and should be preserved as such.”
Adding: “We are determined to oppose any such development to protect the seafront.”
The new group will hold a public meeting in the near future to open up the discussion and to consider future actions.
A planning application for the developmentwill be submitted later this year. EDDC said that the existing tenants on the Queen’s Drive site have been informed of the news and can trade until September 30 when work will commence shortly afterwards