Beer Parish Council's plan to take over assets from EDDC: consultation responses

  Posted: 19.02.21 at 14:58 by Philip Evans

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Beer Parish Council has been negotiating with East Devon District Council throughout the last five years for the transfer of key community assets.  

The assets, land and buildings being considered are: The Jubilee, the toilet block, the Memorial play park, Charlie’s Yard, Beach Court car park, the lower section and enclosed area of Beer Head car park and Starre Bank.

The Underleys play park is not currently included but may be in the future, subject to further agreement. To clarify, the beach, the major section of Beer Head car park and Central car park are not included.

Ownership of the land and buildings will give the parish council and the residents of Beer direct control over how land and buildings are maintained, used and if appropriate developed.

If the parish council takes ownership of the assets it also takes on the practical and financial responsibility of maintaining them. This will include grass cutting, garden work, fence repair, tree maintenance, walls, steps and pathway maintenance, building maintenance, signage, benches, toilet cleaning, rubbish bins and dog bins, to name a few.

Considering the financial issues, the parish council has worked with EDDC to identify the costs associated with asset ownership in Beer. EDDC estimate their current costs to be £55,000 per annum. The parish council believe this can be reduced through efficiencies and community input to £49,000 in year one, reducing to £32,000 by year six as the £30,000 EDDC charge falls away and BPC takes on the works.

To cover costs the parish council has negotiated an annual payment from EDDC, starting at £57,500 in year one, tapering to £13,000 in year eight. This sum represents the Beach Court car park income which will continue as the car park will belong to the parish.

The Beer council will need to generate additional income from the assets and it is anticipated that an additional £10,000 will be generated from concessions and leases.

The draft consultation report was presented to the parish council meeting in February and the Executive Summary of the report will go before the council meeting on March 2nd including recommendations for approval.

Public responses

In the meantime, here are some of the responses from the public consultation:

• 78.8% think ownership and control of the assets will benefit the village
• 77.9% support the transfer proposal
• 60% of visitor survey agreed that often visitors went to Lyme Regis or Sidmouth in the evenings, with the exception of the pubs and restaurants, because there was little other entertainment in Beer
• Nearly 70% wanted more outdoor music of The Jubilee; 53% wanted music on the beach; 53% wanted more temporary mobile food outlets; 40% wanted open air cinema on the beach; 62% wanted an open air cinema on the Beer head car park; 66% wanted weekend food festivals; and 61% wanted mini-music festivals.
• Suggestions for use of The Jubilee included: tiered grass seating (66%); rebuilding the Fisherman’s Shelter as an outdoor stage (45%); installation of power points for outdoor events (72%); accessible café facility in Self Centre to be run as a concession (44%); levelled picnic area (48%); and creation of secret paths through upper area (52%).
• Major redevelopment of memorial Play Park (47%); upgrading of existing equipment (57%)
• Proposals for Charlie’s Yard: kitchen café (28%); kitchen café for short lease pop-ups and festivals (40%); temporary covering for concessions/top-use (42%); free toilet facilities (36%); and chargeable toilet facilities (30%)
• Creating paid for allocated parking for Beach Court residents (55%)
• Lower part of Beer Head car park (fenced in level arear and triangle of grass below): allow paid for un-serviced short term camper van parking (39%); retain picnic area and benches (79%); creative play area with play equipment (48%)
• Starre Bank encouragement of environmental and diverse management (85%).

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