East Devon will now move forward with an exciting programme of events at Queen's Drive Space for 2019

Permission has been given to extend the temporary uses at Queen’s Drive Space, which means East Devon District Council can move forward with an exciting events programme for 2019

Planning permission was granted today (12 February 2019) to extend temporary uses at East Devon District Council’s Queen’s Drive Space entertainment site in Exmouth for a further three years, allowing the highly successful seafront play area and seating area to remain open for use. This means that the council can now commit to organising another exciting programme of events, as well as an attractive food and drink offer for the summer months.   

The three year time period will allow the site to continue to be used for a mixture of activities while comprehensive proposals for the redevelopment of the area are brought forward. The planning consent gives the council the flexibility to continue to operate Queen’s Drive Space over the next few years, ensuring that the seafront stays active and vibrant during the delivery of new development.

Queen’s Drive Space proved immensely popular last year with over 1000 people responding to the User Survey, which was undertaken by the South West Research Company.  Nearly all visitors said they would use a similar type of site at Queen’s Drive Space if it was provided again in 2019. According to the Exmouth Visitor survey undertaken in 2016, the previous seafront leisure uses were not a big pull for visitors to Exmouth so it was encouraging to learn that 58% of all users said Queen’s Drive Space was the main reason for their visit to Exmouth. Plus 77% of users said that their expectations of Queen’s Drive Space were exceeded, including 81% of day visitors.   

The site’s broad entertainment appeal meant that there was something for every age group to enjoy throughout the 2018 summer at Queen’s Drive. The quality of the children’s play area, which was packed out on most days, received one of the highest satisfaction scores as did overall enjoyment of the site, which featured a hugely popular food and drink zone.

The council received many positive comments including:

It’s the perfect place for children when it isn’t great beach weather.  Both my seven year old and seven month old enjoyed it.  It was also lovely to get some food and have somewhere to sit.  Fantastic!

I could relax and have fun somewhere safe for all my children and for us adults too! It’s multipurpose, multi age appropriate and brings a high trade to Exmouth and it’s what young families are begging for.

From May to September, the successful programme of events included three free live screenings from the Royal Opera House attended by almost 600 people, eight film screenings attended by almost 800 people, three theatre performances and two free live music weekends.

The council can now start to firm up its plans for another summer season of outdoor fun, along with a food and drink zone.  More information about the forthcoming programme will be available on www.queensdrivespace.co.uk and on facebook at www.facebook.com/queensdrivespace/.

Cllr Philip Skinner, Chairman of the Exmouth Regeneration Board, said:

I am delighted that planning permission has now been granted for Queen’s Drive Space to remain open and active for the next three years. This gives us the flexibility to listen and create the type of scheme that is the very best for Exmouth working with the Hemingway Design team and through their consultation with the people of Exmouth.

A three year planning permission gives us the flexibility to deliver on our promise and to keep our seafront attractive and entertaining while we deliver on our commitment for long term regeneration.

This is excellent news for the town and for all those people who visited last year and enjoyed a day of fun for all the family.  The feedback received from users just goes to show how ready the town is for a new and different offer on the seafront that includes play, good quality and local food and drink, and entertainment for all ages.  Queen’s Drive Space will ensure that this part of the seafront remains open, vibrant and exciting for visitors whilst new development takes place nearby.