No buyers for Seaton ‘fort’ – council-owned seafront site remains unsold

The district council has admitted buyers have not been tempted to make any offers on the sale of a ‘fort’ on Seaton seafront.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) is having trouble selling an unusual building on Seaton seafront, writes local democracy reporter Will Goddard.

Known as Seaton ‘Moridunum’ (Latin for ‘sea fort’), the structure has disused public toilets below it and a ramped walkway over the top.

East Devon

Seaton Moridunum Image: Google

East Devon

A computer generated image of the possible refurbishment, showing the walkway.
Image: Nash Partnership/EDDC.

A design brief shows how it could be refurbished into a cafe, while keeping and enhancing the “much-loved and well-used” walkway and its “breathtaking” views of the bay.

Its leasehold was marketed over the summer for an undisclosed sum as a “commercial development opportunity.”

Some 17 parties showed interest, but no offers were made to buy it.

East Devon

An artist’s impression of possible refurbishment into a cafe.
Image: Nash Partnership/EDDC.

Seaton

Seaton Moridunum has sea views.
Image: Google.

East Devon

The Moridunum walkway Image: Google.

Cllr Olly Davey (Green, Exmouth Town) asked why at a recent council meeting.

The council’s project manager for place and prosperity, Alison Hayward, replied: “We don’t receive that feedback. If they’re not interested, they don’t tell the agent why they’re not going to bid.  I suspect it’s a challenging site, a challenging building to take on.

“And we had specifically set the criteria with expectations of a placemaking delivery, retaining the walkway above, for example, and enhancing that.

“So we had some of our own requirements which we were expecting of any bidders when they came forward with their proposals.

“It wasn’t just a straightforward here’s a site, what would you like to do with this, offer us the best price.

“We had certain criteria and whether it was that that made people reluctant to bid, but we’ll explore that further with the agent.”

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