Originally Posted by Keanaz
The council are trying to stop access to the slipways in exmouth.
Please follow the link and share this to as many people as possible to stop them limiting our access to the water!!!
EPBSC have written to Jamie Buckley as shown below. And copied Mark Williams as CEO of EDDC. (MWilliams@EASTDEVON.GOV.UK Letters on a similar line would do no harm. I’ll also bounce this to a few sympathetic Councillors.
If the proposal to ban launching/recovery at Belsher’s goes ahead, it clearly has Big Implications for EPBSC. Whilst I read up enough to get me through the HRO exercise, I have no knowledge of the legislative format under which EDDC could be banning us. We could try the RYA and/or the BWSF, but neither were that useful to us last time. And Yogi tells me the RYA don’t love us currently, either, for T-850 reasons..... Whether this would affect their assistance for this issue isn’t something to test. Yet.
Which leaves us on our own, a bit. Is there within, or known to any part of the membership, a “tame solicitor” who could offer us opinion in case of need, for example how to force a Public Inquiry on this issue? And we should note that there is a possibility of costs fighting this off if it doesn’t die a death on its own. As EDDC have taken precious little notice of our representations on anything to date, I don’t think we can rely on logic to get us out of this potential problem.
Thank you for sending me this note.
We see you have mailed a package to 100 local residents. For an equal likelihood of representation (assuming residents follow Mr. Pickering’s directions) you should be mailing an equal number of packs to those who make use of the slipway. Has this been done? PLEASE CONFIRM. If this is NOT the case, then that fact should be made very clear at the commencement of any final summary, to give due notice of representational bias.
Posted notices at or around the site can be seen by all, clearly, but responding to notices (probably assumed to be about planning issues) is not to front-of-mind when someone going boating arrives to catch the tide. And they will not be typically equipped with pen and paper either - resources somewhat more readily available to immediately adjacent residents. So they are no substitute.
I have filled in the form for Exe Power Boat and Ski Club, but the complexity of the issue (and obvious misunderstanding of it as shown in “Cabinet” papers) warrants more comment.
It seems that there is confusion over two issues here - launching and recovery of craft, and operation of them once launched. We gather this from the relevant part of the Cabinet papers published 15th July, your written comments, and those referred to me by the BBC. They contacted me about this issue, and a report on it was broadcast recently on Spotlight, and on radio.
The catalyst for this exercise is objection by residents adjacent to Belsher’s slip, to the activities of those launching and recovering craft. It does occur to me that this is akin to those buying a house next to a church complaining about bell-ringing, where the bells and the slipway share the feature of being there long before the new buildings, or incomers objecting. However.... we also respect the needs and desires of those who are adjacent to boating activities.
It should be noted that EPBSC does not represent users of jetskis, nor PWC’s (Personal Watercraft). It should further be noted that the origins of EPBSC were the banding together of a group of individuals - some still active in the Club - to defend all users from restrictions on the reasonable use of, and access to the waters of the Exe. We successfully provoked, and were represented at, the Public Inquiry in the 70’s that laid out the current use and speed restrictions on the Exe. This included the speed-free power boating area - of which extensive use is made by our members - and the similarly de-restricted water-skiing area, where we moor our Club pontoon. From the latter, a number of events have been held over many years. For either of these activities to take place, a boat must be both launched, and recovered. Such activities are rarely undertaken by moored craft. You may thus be assured that any restriction to access - at Belshers or elsewhere - will be subject to the most vigorous objection, if necessary at the highest level.
Now let us examine why Belshers in particular is relevant. I have walked many Councillors and members of EDDC management around the Exmouth end of the Exe and the seafront, to explain the paucity of facilities available to those wishing to go boating on The Lower River Exe. This has been accompanied by a briefing document a revised copy of which is attached, and which should be printed and added to your report as an addendum to this note. This document confirms by analysis of all options (including the closed, and potential Mamhead slips) that Belshers is a vital facility. IT IS THE ONLY SHELTERED ACCESS POINT AVAILABLE 24 HOURS A DAY.
Now let us examine the objections to its use. From the 15th July papers, these do not refer to noise launching and recovering - a quiet pursuit, generally - but to continued operation of vessels in the vicinity of the slip after launching, the issues being both noise, and speed. Both these issues are easily addressed by MANAGMENT not BANNING. The noise issues and speeding in the 10 knot areas of the estuary arise primarily from the activities of jetskiers and PWC drivers. It is not known whether this is through ignorance or mal-intent. As most people do not set out to offend others, we may reasonably assume the former. Use of the Harbour Patrol vessel to contact and talk to those unaware of, or to a lesser extent ignoring the existing regulations would serve to address an issue that by its very nature applies only on a few weekend days in the summer. The man-in-a-van provided during some summer weekends at the head of Belshers could also, perhaps, put down his copy of “The Sporting Life” and get out of the van to talk to those launching to ensure they are aware of the local regulations, and encourage them to behave responsibly.
To ban all use of this facility is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. It would also kill off the core of EPBSC’s activities, and will therefore not be allowed, as referred above. It would also have a detrimental effect on local traders.
It should be noted that in the event that someone has bought a dwelling by Belshers or nearby, and finds that they do not care for the activity that goes with it, there is the option to sell up - currently at a healthy profit given the trend for prices in the area - and go and live elsewhere, perhaps the sepulchral “Avenues” area of Exmouth. The values of the Quay properties suggests that there is no shortage of those willing to have their lives enhanced through close observation of, and easy participation in boating activities. The broader boating population on the other hand does not have the luxury of choice. As the “Water Access” document shows, Belshers is “The only game in Town”. And in some respects will continue to be so, even if The Mamhead is re-built to the current, wave-limited design.
In conclusion, manage, don’t ban, and recognise that any proposed ban will go the way of ECC’s HRO - huge expense, and no result. So lets’ do things sensibly, shall we?
As a footnote, you will recall that EPBSC as a responsible neighbour to our local and visiting friends, provoked the fund-seeking for, and eventual installation of what was supposed to be the first of a series of seafront showers. Well-used and successful last season, the initial unit does not appear to have been joined by others as planned, unless I have missed something. Can you update us on this project?
for Ex Power Boat and Ski Club.