Stay of execution for Exmouth seafront cafe

An urgent and confidential report was taken to East Devon District Council’s Cabinet last night about two Exmouth seafront tenancies.

The Fun Park and Harbour View Café sites are due for investment and redevelopment as part of the council’s plans to improve the attractiveness of the seafront to residents and visitors alike.

Earlier this month the council, as landlord, took back the former Fun Park site on Queen’s Drive having given the tenant extensive notice, a year’s extension and with the last 12 months of his tenancy rent free. Last night, Cabinet confirmed it was content with this outcome. Having the site vacant from now means that the council can prepare it for a range of new temporary attractions over the next year pending a long term development future which will be the subject of local consultation and attract ideas from Exmouth people.

Cabinet also decided to offer to extend the lease arrangements for the Harbour View Café which was due to close at the end of this month (September). Now that the council has its development agreement in place with Grenadier Estates for a new water sports centre on the seafront, it is able to plan in more detail for the next steps and timing of the renewal of Queen’s Drive. This means that the council is able to offer the Harbour View Café a further extension of its lease which reflects the concerns of Exmouth councillors that this all-year-round facility remains open temporarily.

Cllr Philip Skinner, the council’s portfolio holder for the economy and chairman of the Exmouth Regeneration Programme Board, said: “I am happy that EDDC is able to offer a lease arrangement which keeps the Harbour Café open on an interim, short term basis, and until the site is needed as part of the Exmouth seafront regeneration project; this is a practical solution which gives the tenant further time to make alternative arrangements going forward, while at the same time offering a favourable and affordable rent.

“I am hopeful that work on the new road to begin the process of construction will begin early in 2018.”

The two tenancies are due to be discussed at an extraordinary district council meeting next Wednesday (September 13) called by six of the council’s 59 councillors who have put forward a motion about the closure of businesses as part of the Queen’s Drive redevelopment.