Agenda and minutes

Exmouth Queen's Drive Delivery Group - Thursday, 15th October, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Online via the Zoom App.

Contact: Chris Lane, Democratic Services Officer  email


No. Item


Public speaking


There were 7 members of the public wishing to speak.


1.         Julia Gash reported that she had moved down from Sheffield to Exmouth 5 years ago for the gentler climate and beautiful coastline. The drawback she experienced was the town was tired in terms of its offer. She wished to express her support for the development work that had been undertaken on the seafront so far. She thought this would improve the tourism offer for the town, the economy and creating a contemporary space that is attractive to both visitors and residents.   As an Exmouth business owner she wished to express her support for the Hemingway vision.


2.      Laura Woodward-Drake introduced herself as the new Chair of the Exmouth Chamber of Commerce whose motto was ‘Grow Stronger Together’. She wished to echo the previous speaker’s comments on the Hemingway plan in regenerating the seafront. She was the manager of a local language school with 4,000 visitors and who regularly brought, many of them to the seafront. She considered the Hemingway Design to be a good one and ticked many boxes. She hoped that development on the seafront could move forward now.


3.      Justin Moore reported that the Queens Drive development was a fantastic opportunity for Exmouth. The Hemingway Design was well presented and would complement other developments. It would make Exmouth an all year round destination and improve the economy. He saw the changes made as positive.


4.       Ivor Jones thanked the Panel for the opportunity to speak. He was the Station Manager for NCI Exmouth who have operated from the tower adjacent to the Harbour View Café.  Part of the national network of NCI stations and consistently the 3rd/4th busiest station. The ability for them to operate properly in Exmouth depended upon them having a new facility.  They needed 25m of look out space in the new development to include training and storage facilities.  He hoped that a Coast Watch Visitors Centre could be incorporated in the new facility, as this would be a great benefit for Exmouth. An inspirational new building would be to everyone’s benefit.  To compromise with unsuitable and inadequate coast watch facilities would impact upon NCI’s ability to provide an effective and efficient coast watch service for this area both now and in the future.


5.      Gordon Hodgson reported that he had lived in Exmouth for 48 years. He had been part of a group in Exmouth that had been working to unburden the Seafront site from the unrealistic expectations of a commercial return. He wished to widen the range of ideas and improve public consultation. Balance the need to have confidential commercial information to provide the public with information. He wished to see the idea of a hotel removed from the proposed developments. The site was expected to provide too much of a commercial return. This had artificially increased to pay for the cost of road alignment.



6.      Sally Galsworthy, local Exmouth resident agreed with most of what the first two  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.


Welcome from Chairman


Cllr Paul Arnott, Chairman of the Delivery Group wished to welcome all the public and Councillors to the first meeting of the Queens Drive Delivery Group. He reported that he had visited Exmouth seafront on many occasions when a student at Exeter University. He had been upset to hear that despite best efforts there was conflict over what was best for Exmouth seafront. There was the need to: 1. Look to the future and the need to make peace with the past. With this in mind he would be happy for public speakers to contact him via email with their questions .2. The need to get on with development at the seafront.


He felt it was appropriate as Leader of the District Council to take the chairmanship of the Panel for the first few meetings and then hand over to an Exmouth member when the future was clearer.


Declarations of interest

Guidance is available online to Councillors and co-opted members on making declarations of interest



Minute 5. Current Position.

Councillor Olly Davey, Personal, is a member of Exmouth Town Council


Minute 5. Current Position.

Councillor Nick Hookway, Personal, former Chairman of Save Exmouth Seafront, author of the Exmouth Egg proposal


Minute 5. Current Position.

Councillor Joe Whibley, Personal, is a member of Exmouth Town Council


Minute 5. Current Position.

Councillor Chris Wright, Personal, is Littleham Ward Member, former tenant of the Queen’s Drive redevelopment site



Terms of reference (see attached document) pdf icon PDF 253 KB


Members of the Delivery Group received details of the Terms of Reference.

Cllr Paul Millar suggested that a clause be added to facilitate public engagement with Queens Drive Phase 3. It was also suggested that the words ‘invites to individuals’ in paragraph 4 of the Terms of Reference be removed.


RESOLVED: that a full review of the Terms of Reference for the Delivery Group be undertaken at the next meeting of the Delivery Group.


Current position (see attached Briefing Note & Chronology of Activities) pdf icon PDF 505 KB

Additional documents:


Members received a presentation by Tim Child, Service Lead - Place, Assets & Commercialisation, who reported that the Queen’s Drive development site had been a key project for the council for over 8 years. It was first identified in the Exmouth Seafront and Town Centre Masterplan: Exmouth Vision. The first part of the report set out the current position for phase 3 of the site with information on the recent work undertaken by Hemmingway Design and Lambert Smith Hampton. It also set out the position regarding the temporary uses on the phase 3 site. The second part set out a brief summary of the background to the Water Sports Centre project – how and why this was pursued and details of the various activities that were necessary to facilitate its delivery and covered other contextual information that was helpful for members to be aware of.


He reported that he was coming to the development with a fresh pair of eyes as he had not been involved in the early stages. Achievements so far were:

1.    Newly aligned road

2.    New car park.

3.    Temporary uses on the Phase 3 site.

4.    The new Water Sports Centre.


The current position was that progress on Phase 3 was on hold. The Council could progress the site by marketing it, which was a two stage process and which was provided for by a Cabinet decision earlier this year.  A commercial element on a part of the site was important to pay for the free play and public realm on the remainder as per earlier decisions by Members.  He reported that Officers were ready to support Members. The Officer’s role was to take forward proposals agreed by Cabinet or Council. This was a great opportunity to complete the final stage of the Queens Drive Development and provide a sustainable legacy.


During the lengthy discussions the following points were noted:

·         Temporary uses on the Phase 3 site had been successful.

·         It was the intention of the new administration for members and officers to work together to get a successful seafront development done.

·         Importance of providing a high quality outdoor attraction that was commercially viable, but also to listen to the views of the public.

·         The vision was to provide a project/facility directed at the young and not so young, both local people and visitors. A landmark building on the Harbour View site was needed providing excellent facilities.

·         The hotel site would provide a capital receipt.

·         Need to see what has been spent on developments so far and what income had been received. The current position of Ocean Blue, including cost and revenue.

·         Impressed with what has happened on the site and the free play area was superb. Businesses had been pleased to be there but would like longer leases for their businesses.

·         Importance to the rest of East Devon that we get this development right.

·         Need to focus more on a staycation and environmental concerns. People appreciated the natural environment of Exmouth. Importance of the development  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Way forward


That the following be agreed as a way forward for the Delivery Group:


Cllr Joe Whibley proposed that the development of the Ocean building be included

within the remit of the Delivery Group and that Cabinet be requested to make the

change to include this within the Terms of Reference.  This was seconded by Cllr

Megan Armstrong and was RESOLVED.


It was also agreed that the chronology of activities be brought back to the next

meeting of the Delivery Group to enable further detail to be included if necessary to

provide a comprehensive record.  A report would also be presented outlining

considerations for temporary uses for 2021.


The next meeting would be held on either 10th or 12th November 2020.




That Cabinet be requested to include the development of the Ocean building within

the remit of the Exmouth Queen’s Drive Delivery Group and that the Terms of

Reference be amended accordingly.