Multi-million-pound plan for Seaton seafront expires

Seaton seafront

Seaton seafront - Credit: Archant

A major multi-million-pound plan for the regeneration of Seaton seafront has been sent back to the drawing board after its planning permission expired. 

East Devon District Council back in August 2017 granted permission for Seaton Town Council’s scheme which would see the demolition and redevelopment of the Fisherman’s Gap and Esplanade areas. 

The scheme had gone to public consultation three times in the last few years and been backed by the public, before being backed by councillors when it went before them. 

The key elements of the proposed scheme included: 

  • The enhancement of the seafront and creation of a new fully accessible public realm to the beach 
  • Pedestrianisation of the existing esplanade from Fisherman’s Gap to the junction with Beach Road 
  • Alterations to the highways layout 
  • Demolition of the existing dilapidated moridunum building and replacement of a new building 
  • Anew public square for events 
  • New public toilets 
  • A new seaside village seasonal beach huts 
  • A raised walkway behind the sea wall 
  • New planting, street furniture, resurfacing and improved lighting 

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But at the end of 2020, it was announced by the town council, that the seafront development scheme could not be taken forward and should not be implemented in its current form, after a number of procedural and financial problems. 

It has also been confirmed that the planning permission for the scheme had lapsed, as while an extension as a result of the coronavirus pandemic had been announced by the Government, the extension to planning permissions only applied to schemes whose permission ran to August 19, 2020 or after. 

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As the seafront permission had expired on August 8, 2020, it means that the town council lost the possibility of a successful start, and would have to reapply. 

Seaton town council are now set to review the project, take time to understand and learn from mistakes that have been made, and to consider all options to keep the project alive.

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