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SEATON:Town council support for campaign group’s call for Harbour Road hotel
Tuesday, 02 December 2014
Seaton Town Council is right behind local campaigners and “strongly objects” to plans for retirement flats being built on the Harbour Road regeneration site.
The town council’s planning committee has resolved to recommend to East Devon District Council (EDDC) that it should refuse the application because a retirement flat complex would mean: loss of employment opportunities; loss of tourism opportunities; loss of opportunities to boost the local economy and would also prevent the town’s regeneration projects achieving their full potential.
In its formal response to EDDC’s planning department, the town council says: “The vision is for longer-term growth of tourism, especially green tourism, focussing on the key environment assets of Axe Wetlands, Jurassic Coast, surrounding exceptional coastline – all of which are seen as being integral to the future success of the town.
“The provision of over 50s accommodation as an alternative to visitor accommodation does not meet this stated aim for the town and would prevent the achievement of the fundamental objective of Seaton achieving longer-term growth of tourism.”
A decision will be made by EDDC Development Management Committee on a date to be announced. The story is well-known by now.
Planning permission for a 100-bedroom hotel on the site had been given, but the plans were scrapped. Instead it was announced that McCarthy & Stone was preparing a planning application for more than 40 retirement flats on the site.
This led to local residents forming campaign group Positive Development For Everyone In Seaton, which amassed 900-plus signatures for a petition urging EDDC to earmark the Harbour Road regeneration site for hotel/holiday accommodation.
Prior to the town council planning committee meeting, Positive Development for Everyone in Seaton issued a statement saying: “A small hotel would provide anywhere from 20 to 50 new jobs directly, and many more as the town bene?ts from the growing number of visitors.
“This site was speci?cally designated for commercial development in order to offer quality tourist accommodation close to the seafront, to enhance the town’s role as a visitor destination and make Seaton the region’s premier resort for green tourism.
“The income from visitors would bene?t all the town’s businesses and help build the tourism business throughout East Devon, particularly after the completion of The Seaton Jurassic Centre and The Stop Line Way.
“The evidence we have gathered suggests that the site has not been marketed to any satisfactory degree to attract hotel developers, and has certainly not been given the exposure that other such prominent sites bene?t from. Seaton never expected to have a new town centre hotel overnight: if this proposed development is approved there may never be one.”
Anyone wishing to comment on the planning application can do so by e-mailing planningeast@east devon.gov.uk quoting planning application number 14/2372/MFUL or by writing to East Planning Department, EDDC, Council Offices, Knowle, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8HL quoting the same planning application number.
Details of the application are available online at http://planning.eastdevon.gov.uk/ online-applications
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