Exmouth could become a regional beach volleyball center if a city sports club is successful.
The Exmouth Beach Volleyball Club has asked the East Devon District Council (EDDC) Queen’s Drive delivery group to consider allowing a permanent court on the beach.
Beach volleyball nets have been installed on Exmouth Beach since the 1980s, writes local democracy reporter Joe Ives.
Permanent nets remained on the beach for about seven years before being washed away in 2014.
The club still use the area every summer, but now want to create a permanent plot on part of Queen’s Drive currently used as a temporary parking lot.
He says he has a wide appeal with members aged 12 to 60 who hail from Dawlish, Plymouth, Exeter and Tavistock as well as Exmouth.
Speaking on behalf of the club, Mark Myerson said that a permanent pitch “could attract some of the best players in the country through tournaments and provide us with a unique space for many other activities such as beach football, beach rugby, beach tennis, beach netball, fitness classes and other outdoor events ”.
He added: “We believe it would be a huge asset to the town and the region, providing recreational facilities for locals and a reason for hundreds of people to visit Exmouth.”
Mr Myerson is convinced that the funding could be arranged if the tribunal were permanent.
But EDDC officials say the authority can only reach one-year deals until a permanent decision is made on how to use the land in question.
Some fear that if a small section of the beach is permanently set aside for the volleyball club, larger projects could be prevented from moving forward.
The delivery group was informed, “There is a danger that we find ourselves isolated, choosing particular uses that then impact – and negate – greater overall development.
“Now, this global development could indeed include a beach volleyball court and there could be, through a global development, a good way to be able to finance it, either by external financing or by other commercial returns generated. by the site.
“But it all has to be seen as a whole, otherwise we’ll end up with a lot of things that are sort of potted and we’ll have scraps of earth that we can’t do anything with because we’ve already committed to doing other things on the adjacent bit.
Exmouth Littleham’s representative, Councilor Chris Wright, said he understood the concerns, but suggested officers speak to the volleyball club to see if a temporary arrangement can be made.
He added that it was a “very compelling” idea given the number of people interested in different age groups.
“This is something that we sure want this particular area to be used for because it feels pretty inclusive to me,” said Cllr Wright.
Officers agreed to speak to the volleyball club about potential short-term uses.