• EDDC cabinet set to approve demolishing beach huts at Exmouth, this evening

    7th January 2015 | News | Claire
  • It is proposed that 37 of the town’s beach huts “be absorbed into the Queen’s Drive redevelopment scheme.”

    This is controversial “Exmouth Splash” plans, that have been opposed by many people and will mean that several Exmouth seafront businesses lose their livelihoods, as the council moves to knock down long-standing and popular businesses, such as Exmouth Fun Park, and instead turn the area into car parks and unspecified attractions.

    Exmouth councillor, Eileen Wragg reacted angrily to the plans to demolish the beach huts, on this morning’s BBC Radio Devon programme.

    She said that EDDC seemed to only want to sell off the seafront to boost its own coffers. She also suggested that the huts had been deliberately run down in order to make a case for getting rid of them.

    Cllr Wragg also referred to the demolition of Elizabeth Hall on the seafront, despite huge public protest, and the subsequent building of a Premier Inn. 

    The demolition of a large amount of beach huts (in addition to the loss of Elizabeth Hall and the concreting over of some historic attractions) will undoubtedly adversely change the character of Exmouth’s seafront.

    I grew up in East Devon and spent many a happy childhood summer day at Exmouth beach, swimming and digging in the sand.

    East Devon District Council must be very careful indeed when meddling with such a lovely stretch of coastline. At the moment, Exmouth’s seafront still retains much of its attractive character – and that character must not be under-valued.  Local business people have told me that tourists come to Exmouth precisely because of its kitsch, unique, slightly old fashioned feel.

    Demolishing really lovely attractions such as Exmouth Fun Park and others nearby in my view is ripping the guts out of the seafront. 

    The latest plan to bulldoze the beach huts is to me, another example of a council that has not considered East Devon’s natural local economy – tourism.

    Other beach huts in East Devon coastal towns are proposed to be sold on the open market.

    The cabinet meeting starts at 5.30pm this evening.