Tim comments on Exmouth’s Albatross saga

Owl is mortified to find this comment by Tim got lost in 266 items of spam (a couple of week’s worth).

It deserves repeating as a full post.

In reply to A Budleigh Correspondant.

Congratulations to the lady or gentleman who put this account together for it has seldom been an easy task to determine the real facts of a matter under the old Tory regime.

I would like to add a couple of observations, the first already hinted at. Frankly the ducking and diving performed by the old regime, both from various officers and members, in their efforts to hide much of what was going on. It was shameful. I submitted numerous FOI’s including that which confirmed the £50k on the covenant purchase. It was like trying to draw blood from a stone.

I cannot readily find the reference but I am pretty sure that there were £10k legal fees on top of the £50k paid for the covenant, a covenant incidentally that EDDC at one point claimed they didn’t need for the Ocean!

In regard to the retail element, we were promised something exceptional by way of tenants, something that would act as a draw to Exmouth without adversely affecting the town’s businesses. Initially a water-sports business operated in one part but I seem to recall that the rates were excessive and they moved their operation elsewhere.

So what ‘exceptional’ retail did we end up with, a grocery type outlet which popular though it may be, would go bust I suspect if its alcohol licence were removed. The retail element of the Ocean leads me to wonder what sort of retail we shall see at the newer water-sports centre, what amazing year-around draws will rent the brick garage-like structures. So far it looks like more take away cafes. Expect longer queues at the inadequate newest loos!

Cllr Moulding amongst others has held the Ocean up as an example of excellent development.; well the writer of the account above has debunked that well and truly. Cllr Moulding has always failed to provide evidence for his praise of Exmouth developments not least for the fact that EDDC has never carried out the necessary research.

I should like to know more about LED, their involvement, and the cost to the taxpayer- but they are not covered by FOI so that element remains largely hidden from public inspection.

I had not appreciated the involvement of FWS Carter at an early stage: I should have known better.

Notwithstanding all of the above, we are now stuck with the Ocean and must make the best of it. After years of parts of it not being used, I believe that most of it is in use apart from those restrictions due to Covid. I hope that it does get used to the fullest and make some money for the public purse .

Finally, to address the Budleigh commentator’s valid concern over availability of records, the whatdotheyknow.com website, with it’s record of FOI applications (although some refs/links may no longer work) sits alongside EDW as a repository of some of EDDC’s darker planning years .

2 thoughts on “Tim comments on Exmouth’s Albatross saga

  1. Another detail that has intrigued me from my researches. I did miss out one influential character -Councillor Philip Skinner, at that time EDDC Cabinet member for Economy and from 30 June 2016 Chairman of the Exmouth Regeneration Board who represented Tale Valley.
    Obviously some Exmouthians were unhappy when one popular children’s attraction did not have a lease extended and £285,305 was spent by the council for the first year of the new temporary replacements attractions. Some were also unhappy that a councillor representing a rural ward was the Chairman.
    Under his watch the rerouting of Queen’s Drive took place and planning permission granted for a brand new watersports centre, café and restaurant, new public space and beach access .
    What was his inspiration? “ The newly revitalised Ocean entertainment complex, are examples of what we are looking to achieve across the seafront and retail heart of Exmouth”.

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    • The reference to the temporary attractions prompts an additional comment. The attractions are correctly claimed as a success for the redevelopment. The irony however, is that their genesis was not in Unlocking Exmouth or any of the grand design plans put forward by the then Tory regime,;it was a desperate stop gap measure intended to stifle the substantial concerns about a derelict site and the effects on tourism-and the only plan to succeed to any degree.

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