Clinton Devon Estates: a very chequered development history

Comment added as post:

““Responsible stewardship and sustainable development are at the heart of everything we do.” So says Clinton Devon Estates web site. If only!

John F. Travis in his book “The Rise of the Devon Seaside Resorts” writes:

“The case of Exmouth serves to show that genteel landowners did not always ensure that resort development was of a superior quality. At Exmouth almost all the land was concentrated in the hands of the Rolle family,… but they tended to grant leases without exercising proper control over the subsequent development. In 1850 the Board of Health inspector castigated the Rolle family for not having concerned themselves with the “class or disposition of the houses erected” on their estate, with the result that properties were “chiefly of the second and third class . . . built without much attention to regularity and uniformity of design”….. In 1895 the Exmouth Urban District Council found it was powerless to prevent the spread of houses across Wythycombe Marsh, despite the fact that this low-lying area was frequently flooded and was contaminated by sewage.

Exmouth is an example of a resort where the landed proprietor failed to exercise proper control over development. Small developers were allowed to pursue their own interests without regard to the overall quality of the resort they were creating. The quality of development was generally inferior to that at Torquay, partly because there was less upper-class demand for housing at Exmouth, but chiefly because Exmouth lacked the large landowner’s personal involvement in the planning process which so characterized the development of Torquay. By 1907 one travel writer was grieving over Exmouth’s sprawling mass of mediocre housing, which he felt had clothed the resort “with a sad shabbiness”.”

Profit before responsible stewardship, is history repeating itself?”