The Project Manager – Place & Prosperity (Exmouth) ran through the update report on Placemaking in Exmouth, including:
· An update on the Queen’s Drive Space including interest in the fitness space, installation of bike racks, and networking with stakeholder groups.
· Details of the Placemaking in Exmouth consultation which commenced in early June, including an outline of engagement to date via the online questionnaire, public consultation event, and face to face interviews carried out by the South West Research Company independently of East Devon DC.
· An update on the Levelling Up Fund bid which is led by Devon County Council and is ready for submission.
· Outline details of an opportunity being explored by East Devon DC to accept the transfer, at nil consideration, of the freehold of land to the south of Redgates, Salterton Road, Exmouth, with the opportunity to develop four commercial units as part of the Developer’s Planning obligation by Unilateral Undertaking under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Discussion included the following points:
· The next public consultation event takes place on Sunday 31st July 2022, 10.00 am – 12.30 pm at Ocean, Exmouth. Members of the public who wish to take part are asked to book in advance with Gerry Mills, Project Manager – Place & Prosperity (Exmouth) – firstname.lastname@example.org
· It appears from consultation responses to date that people are largely in agreement with the themes and characteristics identified by the Placemaking in Exmouth Town and Seafront Group members. Where themes emerge which the Group did not identify, these will be highlighted to Group members. The strongest themes emerging to date are the town’s green credentials and environmental protections; navigating around the town and to the seafront; accommodation; signage; and how to travel to Exmouth.
· Having attended a public consultation event, a member observed that people want to make the most of the town’s natural capital, and to mend and improve what the town already has. There did not appear to be an appetite for large new infrastructure projects.
· Given that the environment has emerged as a strong theme, the Group will benefit from engagement with Transition Exmouth and Active Travel Exmouth, as stakeholders.
· A member observed that Exmouth is surrounded by valuable environment including the sea, the Exe Estuary, Pebblebed Heaths and the World Heritage Jurassic Coast; the member would like to see some protection of the countryside that is left around Exmouth. How the housing crisis is solved whilst protecting the environment and also enhancing Exmouth will be a challenge.
· It is important to learn from what has been successful in the past, and listen to what residents have said.
· It is important that recommendations emerging from a recent Motorhomes and Campervans Car Park Workshop dovetail with the work around Placemaking in Exmouth; this is a potential future agenda item for a meeting of this Group.
· The shared cycle path along Exmouth seafront is not safe or popular and it is hoped that Devon County Council officers and councillors will take this on board and work with East Devon DC to resolve the problem.
· The write-up following the consultation and outlining draft options is expected to be ready for February 2023.
The Chair thanked the Project Manager for his report and members noted the progress since the last meeting on 3 May 2022.