District council grants planning permission for new water sports centre in Exmouth

Development includes associated facilities for water sports users such as a café, restaurant and retail spaces as well as associated car parking.

Members of East Devon District Council’s Development Management Committee have voted in favour of granting planning permission for the construction of a new water sports centre and facilities for water sports users such as a café, restaurant, retail spaces and car parking at Queen’s Drive in Exmouth.

The development also includes new stepped and ramped accesses to the beach.

The application that was approved yesterday was preceded by an application in 2017 for detailed consent (known as reserved matters). Prior to this, outline consent for the site as part of the wider redevelopment of the Queens Drive area, had been granted. The previous consents established the principle for developing the site for a water sports centre.

The proposal was supported by Exmouth Town Council and Littleham Ward Members Mark Williamson and Bruce De Sarem.

A total of nine residents had written in to support the application and 37 had objected. Officers noted and responded to the concerns in detail in their report, but considered that the scheme was acceptable and recommended that permission be granted subject to conditions covering issues of drainage, the control of noise from ventilation equipment such as air conditioning and the materials to be used in its construction.

The conditions also seek to prevent the retail units being knocked through to create larger retail units, thus ensuring that they remain small units associated with the sea front and water sports centre and are not able to compete with the town centre.

A further condition also requires a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) to minimise the impact on the environment while the building is being constructed.

In reaction to yesterday’s approval, Cllr Philip Skinner, Deputy Leader and Chairman of the Exmouth Regeneration Board said:

I am delighted that the committee gave the green light to this amazing new asset for Exmouth. This approval reflects the importance of Grenadier’s plans and is another success for the many years of hard work by the Regeneration Board, our officers and the commitment of the town and district councils. 

The approval is key to revitalising the seafront of Devon’s biggest town. This decision now opens the way to the first phases of the Queen’s Drive development which includes moving the road and car park, creating new public space, new beach access and the new water sports centre.

Exmouth people and visitors can already see what we can achieve through the temporary Queen’s Drive Space area that we opened last month with its new free play area, food and drink village market and upcoming events. It really is all coming together for the town.