Queens Drive Development update
Whether you approve of it or not, the development is now underway with the temporary Queen’s Drive Space having been in place since last summer. Objections to the development, mainly surrounding the closing of some of the facilities on the seafront and concerns about what will replace them, seem to have quietened as the outdoor eating and cinema spaces and adjacent play park have proved to be popular. The district council's cabinet has now finalised the development terms for the watersports centre and the target for completion of the centre will be the Summer of 2020.
The site stretches from the Ocean car park down to the Maer. The regeneration of the site is being delivered in 3 phases by East Devon District Council (EDDC) and we are currently in Phase 1: the road and car park.
Construction on phase 1 has now commenced. The contractors are beginning with moving the existing road and car park. After initial delays, the work for phase 1 is expected to be completed on 19 June. Click this link for further details: http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/2732035/starting-work-on-the-road-and-car-park.pdf.
The water sports centre is Phase 2 of the development and is being developed by Grenadier. The multi-million-pound, not-for-profit development was given the go ahead by EDDC on 5 June 2018 and on 6 March this year the council's cabinet signed the final part of the agreement, so all of the agreements have now been completed.
The centre will include changing facilities, an outdoor events space, a restaurant and cafe, public parking and a new ramp giving direct access to the beach. Edge Water Sports was the first tenant announced for the project and will offer a range of activities including Kitesurfing, Stand Up Paddle boarding, Kayaking and Beach Fit classes. Michelin star local chef, Michael Caines has also been confirmed as a tenant. He will be providing a restaurant with a bar and café area. Work is expected to begin on site in late Summer and the centre completion is planned for Summer 2020. Please click this link for the proposed plans: http://watersportscentreexmouth.co.uk/.
Phase 3 of the development seeks to tie in the road, carpark and water sports centre with a mixed-use leisure area. Hemingway Design, the company engaged by EDDC to develop a vision for Phase 3, conducted a consultation open to residents that is now closed. EDDC are still reviewing the options with Hemingway Design and their other consultants before they share more information with the public. Visit the Hemingway Design website to get a flavour of the work they do: https://www.hemingwaydesign.co.uk.
The current Queen's Drive Space was developed last year to fill the vacant space created by the developments, so providing continuity of services. It includes a Jurassic themed outdoor play park, food stalls and a bar with outdoor seating, and an events space for daytime and evening events, including an outdoor cinema. We have received an update that bar and food traders will be on site from 6 April and events will begin in June. They are waiting on their supplier to agree the open air cinema program. They will be announcing the first series of films very shortly. For further details please visit their website: https://www.queensdrivespace.co.uk, Twitter page: @eastdevon #queensdrivespace or Facebook page: @queensdrivespace.
Please see the EDDC website for more information about the whole development: http://eastdevon.gov.uk/regeneration-projects/regeneration-projects-in-exmouth/queens-drive/queens-drive-update/.