Grenadier development in Exeter “a series of unfulfilled promises” – MAY be completed in SEVEN years!

“A series of unfulfilled pledges by a housing developer has seen a historic former school remain visibly untouched for five-and-a-half years, but assurances have now been given its transformation could be completed by 2021.

Former girls’ school St Margaret’s in St Leonard’s, Exeter, was granted planning permission to be turned into housing in 2014.

Grenadier Estates promised to turn the Grade II listed building into an ‘exclusive development’ of 35 apartments and four town houses, by winter 2019/20.

Work was due to begin in the summer of 2017, but instead it has remained boarded up and shrouded in scaffolding and plastic.

Last June, the developers said work would begin on the first phase that month.

Among the reasons stated for the delay was making it a sustainable development, and seeking further planning permission.

At that time no date was given for when the project would be completed due to ‘sensitivities of preserving the historic building, suppliers and ensuring the selected construction techniques are appropriate’.

However, Grenadier has announced today it estimates the project will take a further two years to complete.

Its new vision is to provide a mix of 38 high-quality apartments and three individual townhouses which will be high-quality and energy efficient homes.

The Exeter-based developer has pledged not to compromise the historic character of the property by using the latest advancements in building techniques and technology. …..”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/eight-year-wait-former-exeter-3076220

Exmouth “Shoreline” – Grenadier yet to choose a construction partner

“Aiden Johnson-Hugill, Director at Grenadier said that the company will be taking control of the site and are ready to start work.

Phase 1 of the Exmouth seafront regeneration project [EDDC-funded realignment of the road] has been completed.

East Devon District Council has confirmed that the works to build the new Queen’s Drive car park and to realign the road were completed by the target date of June 19.

It means that Grenadier Estates are legally required to take over the lease of the site where the new watersports centre they are set to build within five days.

An East Devon District Council spokesman confirmed that their solicitors have been instructed to complete the lease with Grenadier Estates.

And Aiden Johnson-Hugill, Director at Grenadier said that the company will be taking control of the site and are ready to start work.

He added: “Work is due to begin on Exmouth’s new sustainable beachfront development, Sideshore, this summer. East Devon District Council has informed Grenadier that the road realignment has been completed and we will now be taking control of the site ready to start works on this exciting project.

“Grenadier is close to selecting their preferred construction partner who will deliver the building in time for the 2020 summer.

“We are also in the process of starting to market the exciting retail opportunity within the scheme and the summer “pods” that will provide a prime location for small businesses looking to benefit from the development’s dramatic location.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/road-realignment-new-car-park-3011509#comments-section

Exmouth: Where are we with the Grenadier agreement?

A councillor implies it is agreed and is signed or on the point of being signed:
https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/03/09/has-the-grenadier-contract-been-signed-or-is-councillor-stott-confused/

A Freedom of Information request implies that it is not:
https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/03/13/exmouth-what-do-they-know-that-they-dont-want-you-to-know-you-cant-know/

Purdah (when local government is forbidden to enter into politically sensitive agreements or public announcements because of the proximity to local elections) starts on 26 March 2019, so this should be ironed out before then.

Or is that the “cunning plan”?

Dangle the “is it” or “isn’t it” carrot to 26 March 2019 to buy time to try to sort out major problems between then and 2 May – while leaving voters in the dark about whether it is on or off till after elections?

Exmouth: what do they know that they don’t want you to know? You can’t know!

Through the Looking Glass – Queen Alice in Council

An Alice Through The Loking Glass response to a request about the EDDC/Grenadier agreement!

“Thank you for your request for information. Please find the response to your query below.

Q. In the first instance, I wish to know what information you hold about the signing of the agreement between yourselves and Grenadier in regard to the Queen’s Drive development Exmouth.

A. There is a development agreement involving the Council and Grenadier in relation to Queen’s Drive dated 23rd August 2017. This is being dealt with under your other FOI request 101000873196.

Q. Your Council News of 7th March 2019, reported that the agreement was due to be signed in the coming week but, in a social media exchange yesterday, 9th March 2019, Cllr Stott said that it had been signed but then appeared to backtrack and then appeared unwilling to clarify. So, at present, in the absence of anything on your website or from Cllr Stott, residents are still in the dark. If there have been further delays, then we should know. You should be aware that it has been a matter of concern to the community that a considerable amount of work has been done and considerable expenses have been incurred all without the agreement having been signed off.

Can you confirm that the agreement has been signed and, if so, when and by whom (names of all parties signing please). As the requested information must be already known to EDDC I expect this FOI to be answered promptly as the Act requires, not to take the usual 20 working days that many to EDDC do. Why Cllr Stott suggested this way to obtain the information is unclear and in respect of the question of whether it has been signed or not seems an inappropriate use of the FOI but, as she has declined to clarify the matters I must make this request.

A. No information held. You are effectively asking for an explanation of the current position and this is outside the scope of FOI. If you would like to email Richard Cohen at [email address] who will provide an answer to your questions.

I hope this information is helpful but, if you feel dissatisfied with the way we have responded to your request, please contact our Monitoring Officer, Mr Henry Gordon Lennox, to request an internal review [email address]”

You may also approach the Information Commissioner for advice at http://www.ico.org.uk

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/the_agreement_itself_and_i_wish?nocache=incoming-1327721#incoming-1327721

Has the Grenadier contract been signed or is Councillor Stott confused?

According to Cllr Stott who has now stopped any more comments being made on her post on the Exmouth Community page the Grenadier EDDC agreement has already been signed although she appeared to correct herself as the post went on:

Pauline Stott to Deborah Russell
Yes was signed this week

Deborah Russell to Pauline Stott
This is interesting to know because according to Devon Live an agreement has not yet been signed. Please advise where you have your information from?

Pauline Stott
We were told at the Cabinet meeting that it would be sign (sic) this week

Deborah Russell to Pauline Stott
Great news when do we get to see a copy of it?

Pauline Stott Of what?

Deborah Russell to Cllr Pauline Stott
the agreement.

Pauline Stott
What for do you ask (sic) to see all agreements the Council make

Deborah Russell
So that in an open and transparent democracy everyone is privy to how and why this community asset was gifted.

Pauline Stott You can ask the Council under freedom of information

Deborah Russell Pauline Stott Will do and thank you.

“Final contract yet to be signed for Exmouth watersports centre project”

“East Devon District Council (EDDC) and Grenadier Estates agreed a development deal in August 2017 and planning permission for the facility was granted in June last year, but the supplementary agreement relating to beach access has yet to be signed.

Peter Quincey, director of Grenadier, has said the company is excited to commence with this project and is keen to get on site as soon as possible, but the details of a supplementary agreement is still to be finalised.

The council’s deputy chief executive told councillors at a cabinet meeting that Grenadier is still being chased.

At the meeting on Tuesday, February 12, Exmouth councillor Steve Gazzard asked for answers on the Queen’s Drive project.

He said: “I am trying to be helpful, but I want some answers.

“Can we have an update on whether Grenadier signed finally signed the contract, whether Michael Caines is definitely opening a restaurant or is just interested in opening a restaurant, and whether, subject to planning permission being granted, there is money allocated in a budget for repairs to the play park on the seafront?”

Richard Cohen said: “I cannot say specifically what the details between Grenadier and Michael Caines are, but the fact they have announced he will be opening a restaurant suggests they have a high degree of confidence in it.

“We will have to budget for any maintenance at the play park that needs to be carried out and we have already done some work on wear and tear repairs.”

After the meeting, Mr Quincey said: “We are delighted to have Edge Watersports and Michael Caines supporting the new watersports centre on Exmouth seafront. Work is expected to begin on site in Summer 2019 and conclude Summer 2020.”

In November, the cabinet approved the £1.2m work on realigning the road and the car park as part of ‘phase one’ of the Exmouth seafront regeneration scheme, The second phase will be the development of the watersports centre and ‘phase three’ is a mix of leisure facilities on the former Exmouth Fun Park site and the current Harbour View plot.”

https://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/watersports-centre-contract-not-signed-1-5896955

Councils investing in commercial property and regeneration feel the chill

Owl wonders how EDDC is getting on with Grenadier in Exmouth …..

“Uncertainty over the impact of Brexit on the UK property market has hit two major council investment projects.

Essex County Council this week formally removed £6m from the budget for its £50m property investment fund after pausing further purchases due to worries over Brexit.

Meanwhile, Brighton & Hove City Council has been forced to delay the signing of a development agreement on a regeneration scheme in which it is planning to invest £8m.

The problems emerged in a week that communities secretary James Brokenshire announced allocations for councils under a new £56m fund to help them prepare for Brexit.

In a report to councillors, Margaret Lee, executive director for corporate and customer services, recommended the £6m reduction in Essex’s property investment fund, saying: “Due to the uncertainties caused by Brexit and the potential impact on the property market, the scheme has been paused with no further purchases planned.”

The pause in investment was originally agreed by Essex councillors in November, after advice from its adviser Hymans Robertson not to expand its commercial property programme “due to the current market conditions including the unknown impact of Brexit”.

However, the council has now decided to remove £6m from the investment programme budget as part of a package of measures that will help the authority reach a forecast underspend of £29.6m in its 2018/19 capital spending programme.

Before the programme was halted, £44m of the fund had been spent on property, which the council says is already yielding £1m for council services.

Essex is set to review whether to restart commercial property investment through the fund during the summer.

Meanwhile, in Brighton, councillors have been forced to delay a deadline they set for housebuilder Crest Nicholson to sign the development agreement on the King Alfred leisure centre and housing regeneration scheme.

Originally, councillors had proposed to walk away from discussions with the developer unless it signed the deal by 31 January.

However, it extended the deadline until 30 March – the day after the UK’s date for leaving the European Union (EU), following a last minute plea from Crest.

In a letter to the council, it cited “challenging economic uncertainties surrounding Brexit and the impact this could yet have on the construction industry workforce and wider confidence and stability of the property market”.

It added that “as soon as we have greater certainty over the nature and form of the Brexit arrangement which we all hope and expect will be achieved shortly, and assuming this does give reasonable certainty over the future trading relations with Europe, then we will enter into the development agreement and commit the team and resources required to promote the scheme, develop the design and seek planning in accordance with the conditions and programme”.

In 2016, the council committed £8m to the project, which comprises a sports centre, swimming pool, underground parking and 565 homes in blocks of up to 18 storeys high.”

http://www.room151.co.uk/funding/brexit-fears-hit-council-property-investments-as-contingency-funds-confirmed/

Michael Caines to open new restaurant on Exmouth seafront

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/michael-caines-restaurant-confirmed-exmouth-2266592

Let’s hope prices won’t be too high for locals. Bed and breakfast at his nearby Lympstone Manor starts at a cool £250 per person per night – or a reasonable offer of £330 per room on Hotels.com.

Lunch costs £39 for 2 courses, £49 for three courses with a nice dinner for £125 per person – lobster, grouse, passion fruit souffle as an example.

Perhaps the seafront restaurant will use the leftovers!

“Save Exmouth Seafront campaigners challenge ‘arrogant’ Queen’s Drive plans”

Is Grenadier’s funding perhaps contingent on EDDC moving the road? A big gamble for EDDC …

“Save Exmouth Seafront campaigners have expressed concerns after East Devon District Council pushed through plans to realign the Queen’s Drive road and car park.

Seafront campaigners have hit out at ‘arrogant’ plans to fast track the redirection of Exmouth’s Queens Drive to make way for a new watersports centre.

Save Exmouth Seafront (SES) said it ‘views with grave concern’ the decision by East Devon District Council (EDDC) to proceed with diverting Queen’s Drive behind the proposed Watersports centre, because the decision was ‘taken at very short notice’.

The campaign group’s concerns are in response East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) cabinet approval for work to begin on phase one of the regeneration, despite no ‘legal commitment’ from Grenadier Estates for ‘phase two’.

Nick Hookway, SES chairman, said: “This decision by the EDDC cabinet, taken at very short notice and voted through before residents had a chance to speak, shows yet again the arrogance of this council and the contempt with which residents’ views and concerns are considered.

“This decision raises a whole range of questions.”

He said the campaign group wants to know why the new road is being moved behind the before the developer has fully signed up to the project, and questions why EDDC was funding it.

The group asked what would happen if Grenadier Estates did not go ahead with the watersports centre and whether there was a contingency plan, fearing residents face a future with a derelict seafront site.

EDDC said it was ‘making sure’ it was on track to deliver what residents want.

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “The council is not prepared to allow further delays on the delivery of a new road and car park, which will pave the way for the much awaited water sports centre and a vision for the wider Queen’s Drive site.”

She added: “We also appreciate that there are a number of long term detractors who have their concerns about how the new seafront is taking shape, so we want to provide reassurance that we are constantly keeping under review the programme of development and maintaining progress while keeping Exmouth people informed on what we are doing.”

She said the council was ‘fully committed’ to the ongoing consultation with the public about changes to the seafront.”

http://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/save-exmouth-seafront-group-challenges-redirection-of-queen-s-drive-1-5788976