Seaton votes for gardens revamp

Sixty per cent of residents polled want Seafield Gardens redesigned and water feature ditched

Seaton’s Seafield Gardens are to be redesigned - by popular demand.

A total revamp of the area was one of two options residents were asked to vote on.

The other choice was to repair the broken down water feature and leave the rest of the gardens as they are.

Following two local polling sessions the winning option, with 60 per cent of the votes, was for a totally new design, derived from several common ideas that came from the community.

It will include some amphitheatre style seating looking out to sea, tables that are also chess/draughts boards and interpretation panels explaining something about the history of the area.

It means that the gardens will be remodelled as a low-maintenance option which will continue to be managed by East Devon District Council.

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Some 139 votes were cast over the two voting events, organised by the council. At the first, on Bank Holiday Monday, 41 people voted despite the rain and wind.

To make sure it got the views of more Seaton residents - especially younger people, none of whom had voted on that occasion – the district council organised a second poll and 98 people took part, including a good percentage of younger people.

Late last year, EDDC asked Seaton residents for their thoughts on how to improve the broken water feature in the gardens. This led to creating an idea, an image of all the feedback received, into one central and affordable proposal, an example of change and improvement for the seaside town.

The district council’s Seaton champion Steph Jones said: “These votes showed EDDC that people of all ages were willing to come down to the seafront and have their say on what they would like to see happen to their local gardens.

“We have counted the votes and local residents believe that upgrading Seafield Gardens is the way forward, creating more of a communal area, encouraging people to use the gardens more regularly. Voters were also commenting that it could be used by people whereas the water feature was just giving visual pleasure to all those who saw it.”