An aerial view of the proposed development at Queen’s Drive, Exmouth.

Exciting proposals for new leisure facilities on council-owned site

An ambitious £18 million development to rejuvenate Exmouth’s waterfront has taken a step forward following a decision by East Devon District Council’s Cabinet (June 17, 2015) to enter into detailed discussions with the preferred developers.

Bournemouth-based Moirai Capital Investments has put forward proposals to breathe new life into the nine–acre council-owned seafront site at Queen’s Drive with a range of exciting leisure facilities.  This follows the marketing of the site by Exeter-based property firm, Jones Lang LaSalle, during 2014. 

The draft layout is indicative of the initial plans that Moirai have created and will evolve over the coming months through work with the community. 

Proposed facilities include a multi-screen cinema, an outdoor water splash zone and an adventure golf park along with a seafront restaurant, ground floor cafes with outside seating in the open space areas and a ground floor retail area. The open space areas will also incorporate play areas for young children. On the first floor level, the developer is proposing residential apartments to ensure the scheme is financially viable and to also cover the cost of realigning the road and developing a new car park.  

The scheme is expected to create at least 175 full-time jobs while the council believes that the extra visitors attracted to the town by the development could boost spending in the resort by as much as £4 million a year.

Cllr Andrew Moulding, deputy leader of East Devon District Council and chair of Exmouth Regeneration Board, said:

This is an exciting step for Exmouth and the current proposals will almost certainly help us reach our long-term vision for the town as an attractive 21st century destination.

The proposals are very much in their infancy and there will be more work to do with the community and Moirai to ensure that we can achieve something that works for all ages, local people and visitors, and complements the new leisure facilities available nearby at Ocean.

We need to bring new visitors to Exmouth and offer them first class leisure facilities so that they stay in our resort for longer, enjoy themselves and bring extra money in to our local economy. Everyone will benefit from such a development - residents, businesses and visitors.

I very much look forward to working on the details of these proposals with Moirai who are very experienced in developing leisure services and facilities at sites across the country.

Martin Barber, Chairman of Moirai Capital Investments, said he was delighted with the Cabinet’s decision to move forward with the leisure and residential scheme.

He said:

We are very excited to be working on this leisure development in such a stunning location. The scheme will provide Investment, local employment and better facilities for the local population, and will act as a strong magnet to attract visitors to Exmouth. The scheme will be designed in such a way that it will complement the watersports centre being completed by Grenadier Estates.

The council already has outline planning consent for a range of uses for the Queen’s Drive site which was approved in December 2013.
Exmouth residents will be able to have their say on the scheme this summer with a full consultation exercise being planned. A planning application will be submitted later this year.

Earlier this year the council agreed to proceed with a proposal from another developer - Grenadier Estates - to develop an exciting new watersports centre on the front part of the Queen’s Drive site.  More information will be available shortly on these proposals. 

The council will work with Moirai to consider opportunities for local businesses to be involved in the future development. 

Existing tenants on the Queen's Drive site have been informed of the progress made to date. Businesses currently operating at Queen’s Drive will continue to trade until the necessary legal procedures have been followed and concluded regarding their future. It is hoped that work will start on the road realignment and the new car park in the autumn.