New Exmouth hotel will "attract 21,000 guests" to town every year
THE company behind plans to create a new hotel on Exmouth seafront says it hopes it will bring 21,000 guests to the town every year.
East Devon District Council has received an application from Whitbread to redevelop the Elizabeth Hall site into a 60-bed Premier Inn.
It is part of the Exmouth Town Centre and Seafront Masterplan and Whitbread has said it feels its proposal fits in with the aim of using the site to “kickstart and act as a catalyst for further regeneration along the seafront”.
It will have a restaurant and Whitbread hopes it will create 50 full and part-time jobs. CGI has been created showing how it could look.
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The district council has been inviting residents to give their views on the scheme and, to date, 13 have been received with 12 objecting and one letter of support, with the author stating the hotel is needed in Exeter.
But Robin Fuller wrote: “The demolition of the Elizabeth Hall and its replacement with a high-rise modern hotel will do nothing to help the regeneration of Exmouth. People don’t visit East Devon because it has a selection of modern hotels owned by national chains. They come for the historic coastline and rural charm. This is an ill-conceived project that flies in the face of public opinion.”
And Ron Roberts, chairman of the Exmouth Resident and Trader Association, wrote: “This development, if allowed, will cause a loss of amenity for the public who have enjoyed access to the green lawns at the front and side of the hall for more than 35 years. The artist impression lacks imagination and will be a blot on the landscape for an eternity.”
Axiom Architects produced the designs for the hotel for Whitbread and a spokesman said: “While Exmouth has a building stock dominated by Victorian or Edwardian houses, this site presents an opportunity for an alternative architectural approach.
“We envisage it will appear as an isolated structure in the tradition of Art Deco seafront buildings from the 1920s and 1930s.”
Whitbread says it received more than 290 consultation responses from the public to its initial consultation, and, as a result, made some changes to its ideas.
A spokesman for Whitbread said: “The proposed hotel will create approximately 50 full and part-time jobs and we would expect those roles to be largely filled by those living in the local community. Whitbread will work with Job Centre Plus to seek recruits.
“In addition to the benefits of creating employment, the Premier Inn will create additional trade for restaurants, public houses and other businesses in the vicinity. Across the Premier Inn estate, approximately one third of guests dine off site at other establishments.
“We estimate that this hotel will attract approximately 21,000 gusts to the seafront in Exmouth each year and we are keen to ensure that the Exmouth economy benefits during construction. Whitbread’s contractor will liaise with East Devon District Council to identify opportunities for the local supply of construction materials where feasible.”
The application is open for consultation and people can comment online at http://planning.eastdevon.gov.uk under application reference 13/0494/MFUL.
The consultation closes on Tuesday, April 9 and the application will be determined at a meeting of the council’s development management committee, the date of which will be confirmed shortly