East Devon District Council has agreed to continue funding Exmouth regeneration. The 10 Conservative Councillors agree that Exmouth needs to update in a positive way to ensure that the economy grows to create jobs. Conservatives wish to encourage all its young people to be able seek good quality employment locally. It is about the next 20 years. Over 2300 students attend Exmouth Community College and is planning to rise to 2900, and they need to see a future for Exmouth.
The first discussions took place in 2010 when many of us stood in the Strand listening to people and had a shop with displays for people to make their comments. Those plans have to be constantly reviewed or adapted to the challenging economic conditions we face. It is also important that all views are taken into account. It is very easy to criticise but we need to be constructive and it is easy to object but decisions have to be made that will not always be popular with everyone. In a democracy a consensus has to be reached as none of us will win every discussion but we must respect other peoples’ opinion.
It should be noted that all the regeneration is taking place on land that EDDC owns. The Strand – now being used for events and in people sitting outside the cafes etc, Premier Inn has been a success and it was not sold to the highest bidder because EDDC owned the land and it decided who to sell it to. Mamhead Slipway became very dangerous and had to be rebuilt. Many discussions took place with water users and civil engineers to find the best solution. It has now opened at a cost of over £1 million. The land at Queens Drive is to leased to future ‘developers’ in order that EDDC will still control its use. Grenadier who wish to provide a watersports centre for all, is setting up a Community Interest Company (not for profit). It will be in the public domain early in the New Year, when ALL residents will be able to make their comments. The rest of the area will be for open public discussion and ALL Councillors (no matter which Party they represent) will listen to the many different views/ideas that are coming forward from all ages. Exmouth Councillors will have to come to a consensus as they do not all think the same and I am sure will have some very healthy discussions.
The Estuary side from Camperdown Gut to Estuary Car park is under review due to the changing economics and online shopping. We will need more parking for boats who use the Mamhead Slipway. Plans for the station area are being brought forward and M & S is being built and will open in the New Year. The Sports/Leisure Centre is being upgraded. Many people have asked me ‘Why is the Magnolia Centre not being regenerated? ‘ The reason is that EDDC does not own the ‘newer’ Magnolia Centre(the former bomb site) - it is owned by a Pension Fund, the shops on the other side are owned by various people, EDDC owns the London Inn Car Park.