From a correspondent (Owl was not present at the exhibition so cannot verify information):
“Exmouth residents were threatened last night by Ben Ingham with a Council Tax hike if the town did not accept a hotel on phase 3. Cllr Kevin Blakey chair of the delivery group told [the correspondent] before the meeting that they were in talks with Premier Inn.
This threat was picked up by an angry member of the audience who unsatisfactorily challenged the panel . The audience it has to be said were in the main underwhelmed by the proposals on offer at the Ocean last night.
Wayne Hemingway talked with passion about the unique qualities of the Seafront. He praised the siting of a bowling club, a cricket club and tennis courts in sight of the sea .
He also praised the wonderful family friendly open spaces of the Maer. His vision was the whole area should be branded. He praised the vision of phase 2 in trying attract younger more monied visitors. To that end he slammed the hotel offers in the Town currently as sub standard and inappropriate for current tastes. His solution a boutique hotel. But where?
Sally Galsworthy part of the Residents Group who presented their vision for Queens Drive said. “ I was staggered. I had not heard Wayne speak before . His analysis of where the market is heading absolutely resonates with the research I have privately undertaken during the last three years. I think he would have liked our proposals “
She continued “ … in my view, the Council seem preoccupied with for the £3m debt left behind by the previous Tory administration. Hemingway was encouraging us to be flexible to ensure our long term survival. Exmouth deserves better than a short term fix”.