Exmouth temporary attractions to stay for another year

  Posted: 11.01.21 at 09:40 by Hannah Corfield

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The temporary attractions on the site of the former fun park in Exmouth are set to remain in place this summer – with more set to be provided on land which was used as a car park.

East Devon District Council’s cabinet on Wednesday night agreed unanimously that the temporary uses for 2021 at the Queen’s Drive site should remain the same as previous years.

And they also agreed that the temporary car park built in 2019 for about 50 new car parking spaces to be provided on a plot of land off Queen’s Drive that previously was partially used for the Railway Carriage Café should not remain as a car park.

The land had previously been allocated for leisure uses before temporary planning permission for its use as a car park had been granted, and with that having run out, the cabinet unanimously agreed to not proceed with keeping it as a car park.

Clearer signage to other car parks on Exmouth seafront will instead be provided, and officers will research and report back on alternative options for use of the temporary car park land.

The report of the recommendations from the Exmouth Queen’s Drive Delivery Group over uses for the Queen’s Drive Space for 2021 said that the temporary uses for 2021 should remain the same as previous years, but with suggestions for temporary uses included pop-up events, beach volleyball, bungee jumping and extending the Dinosaur Play Park.

The Queen's Drive Space on Exmouth Seafront. Image: Daniel Clark

Other changes could see seating replaced by picnic benches which could be re-used elsewhere, that the attractions should be aimed at children over 10 years old, teenagers and young adults, and that the temporary car park should be removed.

The food and beverage offering could remain the same with a preference for supporting local traders and play equipment will be kept in good order, but the arrangement of events to be put on hold pending clarity on the situation with the Covid-19 pandemic.

While phase 1 of the overall Queen’s Drive project – the realignment of the road and the car park – has been completed, and phase 2 – the new watersports centre – is on the verge of completion and should be fully open early in 2021, the final phase of the regeneration remains as unclear as ever.

Planning permission for the redevelopment of a 3.6-hectare swathe of Queen’s Drive has been granted, and has been implemented, the council say, with the realignment of the road, but 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 likely.

The next meeting of the Exmouth Queen’s Drive Delivery Group takes place on Monday, January 25, and it is hoped that further details around the long term vision for the site may come forward then.

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