Work set to start on £15million leisure complex
PUBLISHED: 15:10 15 October 2015 | UPDATED: 08:58 20 October 2015
Owners hope to begin Seaton Heights development this winter
Work on creating a £15million leisure complex, bringing more than 60 jobs to the Axe Valley, could finally get under way this winter.
The hilltop scheme for a boutique hotel, restaurant, spa and gym with 38 luxury rental lodges at Seaton Heights has been dogged by delays.
The proposal was initially refused because of objections from Natural England, which was concerned about potential interference with bat movements in the area. But after a revised plan showing a two-metre wide ‘bat corridor’ on the site, East Devon District Council (EDDC) planners gave it the green light. It had been hoped to begin construction this summer but a series of hurdles have continued to delay the development.
Now, in an upbeat message, Lyme Bay Leisure chairman David Sullivan told the Herald they hope to get under way soon.
In a statement, he said: “There have been delays in planning and ecology, in particular protecting the bat flightpath across the Seaton Heights location. The matter has been further delayed by the difficulty and complexity of funding the site as a majority of funders are very reluctant to even part-fund projects with a significant leisure element.
“Lyme Bay Leisure has always recognised the need and importance of the leisure facilities to the local people and has decided to take the necessary time required to put in place a facility that will deliver them to the residents of Seaton and the surrounding area at the same time as the properties come to market.
“Lyme Bay Leisure is still hoping to make a start this year, ideally before Christmas, by addressing ecology matters and the pre-conditions set by EDDC before getting into full scale development early next year.”