What a surprise! Yet another “we told you so” moment to savour!
“East Devon District Council (EDDC) says that having overcome legal delays, its leaders want to make sure that the development of leisure facilities in Queen’s Drive, between the old lifeboat station and the Maer, is of ‘high quality’, to sit alongside the proposed watersports centre, which the council says is set to progress having been agreed with a developer.
Property developers Moirai Capital Investments were identified as the council’s preferred developers for the main leisure area last year, and EDDC says Moirai made significant efforts to move their proposals forward in difficult circumstances.
EDDC says it has spoken with Moirai, advising it that due to the length of time the process has taken, it’s considering the re-marketing option, and would welcome a further proposal from it as part of this if it does so.
It is more than two years since the main part of the site was originally marketed, and EDDC says the circumstances which influence what happens to Queen’s Drive ‘have changed for the better’.
Councillor Philip Skinner, chairman of East Devon District Council’s Exmouth Regeneration Programme Board, said: “We want Exmouth to be in the best possible position to bring more money and vibrancy to the largest town in Devon. Exmouth has grown continuously for decades, but our seafront leisure facilities haven’t while other seaside resorts have invested and modernised.
“We are considering re-marketing the main Queen’s Drive leisure area to investors and developers who, because of these changing times and our progress on site, now see the potential that Exmouth has to offer.”
Chris Lewis from Moirai Capital said: “We fully appreciate the council’s decision to review this project following the legal delays.
“We remain extremely interested in the potential for the site but understand that time has elapsed and the original concepts will need reviewing. As such we remain committed to the site and will look to rebid as we see Exmouth has the potential for a vibrant and exciting scheme to attract visitors, create jobs and drive forward wet weather facilities for the area.”
The council has outline planning permission to develop the Queen’s Drive site to include a cafe and public open space, retail units, a hotel or holiday accommodation, car parking, and indoor and outdoor play facilities for children and young people of all ages.
This includes the proposed watersports centre at the front of the site, for which the council has forged a partnership with Grenadier Estates.
The council also has approval to realign the road and car park to the rear of the proposed watersports centre once planning permission for the centre is in place.”