22. Will there be open areas for people to relax and walk around?
A key element of the Council’s requirement for the area is to increase the amount of public space that is free to enter and available as space for meeting, socialising and relaxing.
At the moment the leisure areas include spaces that whilst people can access without payment, they have to pay to use the individual play facilities. Furthermore, the space is not openly available for public use or for events, other than those organised by the current operators.
The proposals provide for extensive public open space across the development site including outdoor seating in front of cafes, open air performance space and public free play areas.
The new leisure space will cater for all sectors of the community, including young children. Eating out at cafes and restaurants is an increasingly popular leisure attraction for teenagers and adults alike and whilst there will be plenty of “play” our aim is for the site to become a destination leisure venue for all ages.
The public open spaces will be car free and the relocation of the current car park will mean that movement from beach to leisure facilities and play areas will be safer and in part, no longer requiring having to cross a road. Putting a bend in the road and reducing sight lines from the road with new buildings can be planned in ways that slows drivers down as well.
Exmouth will have a new place on the seafront for people to meet and relax whether they want to use the different mix of leisure uses or not. So Queen’s Drive will become a social and cultural space for Exmouth’s residents and visitors, as has been seen with the Strand.