Visitor centre is essential

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 February 2009 | UPDATED: 23:06 15 June 2010

The public will, no doubt, be aware that a planning application for the regeneration site in Seaton has been submitted by Tesco and will soon be considered by East Devon District Council. Members of Seaton Visitor Centre Trust would like to take this op

The public will, no doubt, be aware that a planning application for the regeneration site in Seaton has been submitted by Tesco and will soon be considered by East Devon District Council. Members of Seaton Visitor Centre Trust would like to take this opportunity to point out, however, the implications on the town of excluding a visitor centre from that planning application. We have been working on the provision of a visitor centre for a number of years with our partners, EDDC, DCC, SWRDA, the Jurassic Coast team and the town council, because such a centre is seen by all as the principal economic regenerator for the town. It will raise the town's profile as a desirable place for visitors and tourists, it will provide not only increased trade and profitability for existing businesses, but also open up numerous opportunities for new businesses. The proposals contained within the brief for the centre offer exciting opportunities for Seaton, considerably helping to extend the visitor season and, with conservative visitor numbers projected at 70,000 per annum, will support jobs and businesses in the regional economy. The visitor centre will also be providing interpretation facilities for the exciting Axe Wetlands project and their anticipated 30,000 annual visitors.In their outline application, Tesco refers to the centre only in vague terms. This does not mean that they will necessarily build one and shows a lack of commitment. At their meeting on February 9, when Seaton Town Council discussed this planning application, the town council also noted that to exclude a visitor centre from the Tesco proposals was to exclude the one opportunity Seaton has to raise its profile, provide new jobs and opportunities and act as a real economic regenerator. We urge your readers to voice their vision for their town. Insist that EDDC, in any planning approval, makes it a condition of approval that a visitor centre is included and that, should they approve Tesco's application, the supermarket may not trade until the visitor centre is completed. All comments need to reach EDDC by March 4.Heather SanhamSecretarySeaton Visitor Centre Trust


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