Agenda and minutes

Virtual consultative meeting, Placemaking in Exmouth Town and Seafront Group (formerly Exmouth Queen's Drive Delivery Group) - Tuesday, 7th September, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Online via the Zoom app

Contact: Sarah Jenkins  01395 517406


No. Item


Public Speaking


One member of the public had registered to speak and made the following points:

·        Multiple minor issues in the town are not being addressed and collectively affect thousands of residents

·        A large group of residents is of the view that a multi-agency group with resident membership is needed to assist with finding integrated solutions

·        A draft multi-agency TaFF proposal has been prepared setting out what residents wish to achieve and work is now needed to fit the proposal into the existing community structure in order to realise the proposals

·        The group of residents seeks to enhance Exmouth, including the town’s green credentials, provision for pedestrians and cyclists and good standards of public behaviour

·        It was hoped that this initiative could start in October

·        Slides to accompany the above points would be sent to the Chair following the meeting


The Chair thanked the member of the public for his contribution.


Members noted the role of the Exmouth Community Association as a voice for the local residents.  Ward Members would continue to consider the points raised by the member of the public, some of which are outside the remit of the Delivery Group.


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 11 March 2021 pdf icon PDF 188 KB

Additional documents:


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 11 March 2021 were recommended for approval by Senior Officers.



The recommendation was approved by a Senior Officer.  The Senior Officer Decision Notice is listed above under Additional Documents.


Declarations of interest


Minute 4. Planning position update.

Councillor Aurora Bailey, Personal, Member is an Exmouth Town Councillor.


Minute 4. Planning position update.

Councillor Bruce De Saram, Personal, Member is an Exmouth Town Councillor.


Minute 4. Planning position update.

Councillor Nick Hookway, Personal, Member was Chair of the Save Exmouth Seafront until May 2019 and confirmed that he is not pre-determined on any matters regarding the seafront and Queen's Drive redevelopment.


Minute 4. Planning position update.

Councillor Olly Davey, Personal, Member is an Exmouth Town Councillor.


Minute 4. Planning position update.

Councillor Steve Gazzard, Personal, Member is an Exmouth Town Councillor.



Planning position update pdf icon PDF 185 KB

Additional documents:


A position statement had been prepared by Ed Freeman, Service Lead for Planning Strategy and Development Management.  The statement outlined:

a.     The current position for site wide redevelopment – outline planning permission for the redevelopment of the Queen’s Drive area having now lapsed therefore there is no extant planning permission for the redevelopment of the area, and

b.     Planning permission for temporary uses expires on 15 February 2022 therefore a decision is needed on uses, if only temporary, post February.


Members’ views were being sought particularly on what actions should be undertaken in respect of the renewal of the planning permission for temporary uses in order to enable Officers to progress actions for next season.


Mr Freeman also advised that the Queen’s Drive site has been put forward in the housing and economic land availability assessment as part of the new Local Plan process.  The timetable for the Local Plan production was included in the report and if proposals for the redevelopment of the Queen’s Drive area are to be incorporated into the Local Plan, there needs to be clarity very soon about the nature of the redevelopment in order to meet the time constraints of the Local Plan production timetable.


Discussion included the following points:

·        Regarding the outline planning consent granted in 2014, the flood risk existed at that time and would not necessarily prevent further consents being granted for hotel and residential use.  Detailed flood risk assessment and sequential tests would need to be carried out for regeneration sites going forward.

·        There is a risk of challenge should temporary use consent be granted again as this is arguably contrary to government guidance but the risk of such a challenge was considered by Officers to be relatively small.

·        Permanent consent for a site with temporary attractions could be sought which would allow flexibility of use in the longer term without the need to continue to seek temporary use consent.

·        Regarding carrying out flood risk assessments and habitat regulations assessments, there would be a need firstly to understand the mix of uses and type of developments proposed for a site as the assessments are specific to the nature of the development.

·        There is a need to make the temporary uses permanent for clarity going forward.

·        If proposals for redevelopment are able to be incorporated into the new Local Plan as a site allocation, there would not be any need for an outline planning application for the site.

·        Regarding the 2011 Master Plan, Members’ views would need to be sought as to whether the Master Plan should be reviewed on a wider scale within the town, or whether the remit should only cover Queen’s Drive.  Wider scale regeneration of Exmouth, including re-visiting sites which were considered in the 2011 Master Plan would pose significant issues for production of the new Local Plan.

·        There was frustration that previous plans for the site had not come to fruition and it was suggested that alternative uses and investments which had been proposed previously are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Resourcing and next steps


Tim Child provided a verbal update on resourcing and next steps which included the following points:

·        At the previous meeting in March, Members debated key opportunities / untapped potential for place and prosperity interventions in Exmouth, the reliance that should or should not be placed on previous consultation and visioning work and what success would look like in 6, 12 and 24 months from now.  Information which came from that debate was used to inform the two new officer roles as needed.

·        The work moving forward would be a new piece of work, with the bulk of the work in the first 6 months carried out focussing on consultation and wider engagement.

·        As discussed above, it has proved difficult to generate interest in the project, and move forward with the recruitment for the two new posts.

·        There are concerns at officer level regarding the breadth of skills required for the roles and also for retention and continuity should officers decide not to stay with the Council.

·        There are a number of external organisations with experience of delivering similar place making projects for local authorities.

·        Tim Child had held a meeting with a leading organisation and is currently waiting for a detailed brief from the organisation which will be shared with the Chair of the Delivery Group and the Leader of the Council.

·        Work would involve consultation, engagement and due diligence on all opportunities, and subject to successful appointment, would be carried out during the winter and spring, reporting the options back through the Delivery Group to Cabinet in summer 2022.

·        Tim Child advised that it was important that the options are not prejudged.

·        Regarding planning and the temporary use of pop-ups, these could be considered as part of the options presented to Members.


Questions from Members and discussion included the following point:

·        The proposed full consultation with the public was welcomed


Ed Freeman advised that there are significant timing issues with the production of the Local Plan and careful thought would be needed as to how the Local Plan and plans for Exmouth arising from this piece of work will fit together.  Careful consideration of the timings of public consultations on both pieces of work would also be required.


Following advice from Ed Freeman, the following points were made:

·        It is crucial that any development and delivery work in Exmouth fits in with the Local Plan process.

·        It was recognised that bringing in external consultants may achieve a wider skill set available for the work, however, there needs to be a balance between procuring the necessary expertise and retaining control of the work by Members.


The Chair of the Delivery Group would meet with the Leader, the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Simon Davey and Tim Child for discussions prior to the next meeting.





Confidential / exempt item


There is one item to follow which officers recommend should be dealt with after the public and press have been excluded, in accordance with local government legislation.


The Chair thanked those who had been watching the meeting online.


Accordingly the public part of this meeting ended and the live stream to YouTube was switched off.


Temporary uses update


A report had been prepared by Tim Child to update the Delivery Group on the current year’s temporary uses and to enable Officers to progress actions for the next season.


The Chair thanked the Events Team and StreetScene for their work over the summer months.


Members were of the view that the report provided a good foundation for planning for the 2022 season.