Facilities in Beer could soon be put back into community’s hands, including car parks and play areas

Jubilee Gardens in Beer. Picture: Richard Wright.

Jubilee Gardens in Beer. Picture: Richard Wright. - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of community assets in Beer, including car parks and play areas, could soon be put back in the hands of the community.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) cabinet will decide whether to allow Beer Parish Council (BPC) to take on a number of assets, worth £315,000, in the town at its meeting on Wednesday (October 2).

A report will go before the committee, along with proposals to transfer the following to BPC:

- Beer Head Car Park (southern strip and central areas only),

- Star Bank,

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- Play area above Pumping Station along with possibly the Underleys play area (will be subject to separate decision making),

- Jubilee Gardens, its public conveniences and the hardstanding view point - includes income of £700 received from RNLI annual,

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- Charlies Yard and

- Beach Court Car Park.

Beer parish and district councillor Geoff Pook said: "This is very exciting.

"When it's in your own back garden you can see exactly what needs doing a bit better.

"It puts the responsibility and opportunity back within the community.

"It is all about the people that sit and use these outlets and sit and walk past them every day… They pick up things that need doing more quickly and notice and see better ways to use it.

"We will be looking after it and using it as our village green.

"We will utilise and use it for community events and hopefully, with funding, we will develop those areas that has had just basic maintenance for the past 40 years, making it more attractive for residents and tourists alike."

EDDC will retain responsibilities over the beach, the cliff, the majority of Beer Head Car Park, the bottom section of Beach Access Road and Central Car Park.

The parish council would have flexibility to sell, sublet and assign the assets, provided that any financial returns are reinvested in the Beer community and that it is used for the public's enjoyment and benefit.

For example, Beer Parish Council would be permitted to convert the public convenience building into a café or ice-cream kiosk.

The cabinet papers state the parish council would be taking on a risk but it would get local control of the assets, their use, maintenance and management and decision making around changes in use and income generating opportunities.

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