The Exmouth wheel, which was enjoyed by thousands of visitors last year.

Two important planning applications approved which will bring new temporary attractions to the town

Exmouth seafront will be buzzing this summer as two important planning applications, designed to bring new attractions to the town, have been approved.

East Devon District Council’s development management committee has granted permissions for the return of the Exmouth observational wheel at Beach Gardens and a range of temporary attractions on the Queen’s Drive development site.

Entertainment plans for Queen’s Drive include a food festival and relaxation area, a mix of events including big screen and theatre, and a new free Jurassic themed play zone. The council is aiming for the first attractions to be in place by the Spring Bank Holiday (May 26).

The committee set out a series of conditions in granting the Queen’s Drive application to control the impact of the temporary attractions on the amenities of nearby residents and to protect the character and appearance of the seafront site.

The conditions are that the site cannot be used after 11pm and noise levels from the big screen in the events zone of the site will be controlled. The area used for the sale of food and drink will be restricted and a detailed design of structures on the site will be agreed in advance.  The committee also gave a clear message that they would like to encourage traders and events to minimise the use of plastics, especially single use plastics.

The 28-metre observational wheel, which attracted more than 12,000 visitors last year, will be sited at Beach Gardens from March 24 to September 6. The committee also granted permission for the wheel to return in summer 2019 too. While they granted the application for two years, councillors raised concerns about the location of the wheel and asked for alternative sites to be looked at should consent be sought for it beyond 2019.

Meanwhile, the water sports centre and road and car park realignment for Queen’s Drive are moving forward. The planning application for the centre, put forward by applicants Grenadier, is currently going through the planning process.

Cllr Mike Howe, chairman of East Devon District Council’s development management committee, said:

The committee listened carefully to the concerns raised by the community and debated all of the issues at great length. They felt that, subject to the various conditions requested by councillors and those already recommended by the council’s planning officers, the concerns raised by the community could be adequately controlled.

Cllr Philip Skinner, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the economy and chairman of the Exmouth Regeneration Board, said he was pleased that the approvals had been given for the seafront.

He said:

People were worried that the Queen’s Drive site might appear derelict as development plans move forward. However, the council was going to make sure that this wasn’t going to happen. I’m really looking forward to the temporary attractions that have been approved for the seafront and it means Exmouth will be really buzzing with activity for residents and visitors alike this summer.