24. Why can’t the existing businesses remain on site? Could they have been part of the new development?
In order to progress a comprehensive development on the site it is necessary for the council to have possession of the whole site. This involves demolition of existing structures across the entire site and the amalgamation of the existing leased areas.
In order for the developer to achieve this, it is important that the Council’s previous leases are brought to an end. All the businesses currently open on Queen’s Drive have had tenancy arrangements with EDDC as the landowner. Most of the leases have already come to the end of their term. As far back as November 2014, EDDC served formal notices on the tenants informing them of its intention to redevelop the site.
Where applicable, tenants have been offered financial compensation in accordance with the law relating to business tenancies. That process is now underway. Tenants have responded differently to the Council’s decision ranging from agreeing a compensation package to taking a legal route.
The Council is keen to support local businesses and see them thrive within Exmouth and the district as a whole. Redevelopment of the Queen’s Drive site will offer more opportunities for commercial activity than have existed in the past as well as more jobs, more attractive leisure activities and more reasons for people to use the seafront all year round.