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Exmouth seafront to be marketed to developers

Monday, August 24th, 2020 8:23am

By Daniel Clark, local democracy reporter

Queens Drive (courtesy: Daniel Clark, LDRS)

Council talks about talks

The future of Exmouth seafront is one step closer to being decided.

The current plans to redevelop Exmouth seafront include a restaurant, an 80 bedroom hotel, as well as an area for play and leisure uses,. 

In February, East Devon District Council's cabinet agreed to launch a marketing exercise. But that decision was stopped because the council’s scrutiny committee in March thought a panel agreeing the selection criteria for marketing it to developers was unbalanced. East Devon District Council has now unanimously backed that the recommendation and sent it back to the cabinet to make the final decision

Since Febraury, the council's cabinet has change and the coronavirus pandemic has hit. The council now says they will "re-engage with a new consensus" for how best to proceed.

The next cabinet meeting is scheduled for 30 September, when it is expected the Queen’s Drive issue will be on the agenda.

An East Devon District Council spokesman had previously said: “‘The council now has a new administration. Combined with the economic impact of covid 19 and our departure from the EU the opportunity will be taken this autumn to reflect upon the proposals and ambitions for the Queen’s Drive area and re-engage with a new consensus for how might be the best way of progressing matters.”

The attractions currently on the Queen’s Drive space – the replacement for the former fun park – only have planning permission to stay on the site until March 2022, with no further extension allowed under planning law unless they are made permanent.

Phase 1 of the Exmouth seafront project – the realigning of the Queen’s Drive road – is complete, while Phase 2, the watersports centre, is now set to open in the autumn following delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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