Businesses operating in Queen’s Drive will be able to continue to trade beyond 30 September 2015
East Devon District Council would like to make clear for the benefit of local residents, as well as its Queen's Drive tenants and customers, that businesses currently operating at Queen’s Drive, who have formally notified the council that they wish to renew their tenancies, will continue to trade beyond 30 September 2015 until the necessary legal processes have been followed and concluded regarding their future. The council would like to apologise for any misunderstanding that has occurred.
This is an exciting but complex regeneration project, and the formal and extensive consultations that have already taken place have shown a clear support for change on the Queen’s Drive site. The latest development proposals currently being discussed, include a free water splash play area, mini golf (the council is currently in discussion with one of the existing tenants with regards to the provision of a new adventure golf facility), a multi screen cinema and a large open public space area – all of which will benefit the town enormously in visitor numbers, attractions for local people and new jobs. There is currently no freely accessible public space and little or no all year round leisure or water sports facilities on the site.
There will be properly organised consultation taking place for the water sports centre proposals as well as the remainder of the site and East Devon will be encouraging local people, organisations and businesses to make their voices heard.
Richard Cohen, Deputy Chief Executive of East Devon District Council said:
Exmouth is Devon’s biggest town. Its population is growing but also ageing and economic improvement for the town is still fragile. If you want to attract and keep younger people and families then Exmouth needs to modernise and improve its offer to residents and visitors alike and that also means new jobs, new business opportunities and all year round attractions. When regeneration investment happens it works: the Strand is now a hub for events and business activity and the Premier Inn is the top-rated hotel in town. LED are working to make the Ocean Centre a success and Mamhead slipway replacement works will happen next year. The council invests in Exmouth and will continue to do so with Queen's Drive.
In order to make these changes happen, a huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes with all the parties involved in the transformation, including developers, tenants and lawyers. We are sorry that this is taking a long time but there are no quick fixes. Our officers have worked extremely hard to create workable solutions for them, so that the Watersports Centre and wider Queen's Drive development can continue to move forward and we look forward to sharing further positive news of Exmouth’s regeneration.
With the exception of the Amusement Arcade, whose lease will not expire for a few years, and Mr Wright, with whom we are in separate discussions, the council made an offer earlier this year to those tenants whose leases have expired. This would have provided clarity on their termination date and confirmed the payment of the statutory compensation to which they may be entitled. At the request of one of the tenants, we even offered to extend the termination date to early 2016. The tenants did not take up this offer. Some of them have decided to contest our notice to terminate their leases and are receiving independent legal advice. This means that we have to deal with these tenants through their lawyers. It is for their lawyers to advise them of what the next steps are regarding their future occupation of the leased premises.