News in brief: Community stories and photos from across East Devon, what’s on, crime and more from Exmouth, Seaton, Honiton, Beer, Axminster, Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth

News in brief: Community stories and photos from across East Devon, what’s on, crime and more from Exmouth, Seaton, Honiton, Beer, Axminster, Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth.


Storm damage in Exmouth has resulted in a seafront building being demolished after it was found to be too ‘dangerous’ to remain.

The district council, currently working to replace parts of damaged the sea wall, said a building used by the Exmouth National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) had to be pulled down, saying it was ‘severely undermined and unrepairable’.


Exmouth National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) building demolition.
Photo: NCI.

Exmouth National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) building demolition, April 2024. Photo: NCI.

Recent storm damage also battered the Harbour View slipway, which will be temporarily repaired in time for the summer season.

East Devon District Council said it hopes to leave the beach site in early June and then return in the Autumn to avoid the summer season.

An EDDC spokesperson said: “The Harbour View slipway is unfortunately currently out of commission now, but EDDC is aiming to carry out temporary repairs so that it can be used for the summer season, with permanent repairs in the autumn under phase two of the works.

“The work on phase one of the current operations to the seawall along the eastern section of the wall, near Sideshore, involves a steel sheet pile wall being installed through the ground in line with The Esplanade.

“The steel wall will remain unclad during the summer season period while the phase two section is planned with a public consultation later in the year, on the finished appearance.”


Steel pile wall installation on Exmouth seafront, near Sideshore.
Photo: EDDC.


Visitors to the 2024 Devon County Show in May are invited to take along a decorated loo roll tube in a bid to create the world’s longest chain.

The show, at Westpoint, near Exeter, has announced Bowel Cancer West as its charity of the year for the 2024 and is attempting to create the world’s longest toilet roll chain.

A spokesperson for the show said: “Recognising how big the issue is of bowel cancer in the South West, the charity reckons it can give a world record a run for its money, but attempting to create the World’s longest toilet roll chain.

“Working tirelessly to ensure the survival rates of those diagnosed with bowel cancer across the region, the charity is celebrating its 15th anniversary, and invites everyone who is coming to the Devon County Show to bring along a decorated toilet roll tube to add to the chain.

“People of all ages can be affected by bowel cancer, and people of all ages can bring along their toilet roll tube – it can be funky, it can be fun, or it can be dedicated to someone.”


A housing developer is keen to find a new home in Honiton for a public defibrillator.

Taylor Wimpey installs the life-saving equipment at each of its developments during construction, then hands them over to the community once the building work ends.

The developer is keen to rehome a defibrillator from its Mountbatten Mews development, off Ottery Moor Lane, and is appealing to Honiton organisations and individuals to get in touch.

The housebuilder has teamed up with the British Heart Foundation in a bid to help those who suffer a cardiac arrest away from hospital.

Melissa Langton, Taylor Wimpey Exeter spokeswoman, said: “Our partnership with the BHF has led to scores of donations across the UK already.

“We’d love to hear from anyone in the Honiton community who would like to give the defibrillator from Mountbatten Mews a new home.”

Conditions to receive the defib equipment include it must be accessible to the public at all times, and registered with the national network.

To register interest in receiving the defibrillator, email:


These photos show the recent work to clear 40 tonnes of Seaton Cliff, which was at risk of falling onto West Walk.

The four-day excavation work was the result of a recent routine annual cliff inspection by the district council which found recent heavy rainfall had caused more debris to slump and fall than normal.


Photo: EDDC.


Photo: EDDC.

A district council spokesperson said: “Works were originally only supposed to take three days, but an extra day of work was required after a tension crack was discovered during the works – the saturation of the cliff also made the material extremely difficult to remove by hand.”

East Devon

Photo: EDDC


A new Police Sector Inspector for Exmouth and the surrounding area has been announced as Grant Leitch, pictured here.


Photo: Devon and Cornwall Police.

His new role covers Ottery St Mary, Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth, where his duties include leading a team of police and community support officers.

Inspector Leitch, who has taken over from recently-retired Inspector Antonia Weeks, said: “I live locally and know what a great place Exmouth and the surrounding area is.

“We will listen to public concerns and make sure that neighbourhood teams connect with the community and those people who live and work in the area, as well as the many visitors we have.”

He added: “I aim to make an impact on key crime matters and community issues which are anti-social behaviour, the population increase during the summer, violence against women and girls, drug use, errant vehicle use and help the work which is happening towards the delivery the new Exmouth police station.”


Visitor attraction Seaton Tramway is celebrating winning three accolades at the Jurassic Business Awards, recently held in Sidmouth.

The ceremony was held to celebrate ‘business excellence’ across the Jurassic Coast communities.

Seaton Tramway scooped the Café, Pub and Fine Dining Award, the Tourism Award, and Business of the Year Award.

Judges said: “An attraction like this is good for the local economy as it has a knock-on effect bringing in visitors to enjoy the scenic beauty of East Devon who then visits other businesses in the area.”

Steve Waite, Seaton Tramway commercial manager, said: “These awards are a fantastic recognition of the hard work and dedication of our entire team.

“Winning the Business of the Year was particularly special and unexpected.

“It’s an honour to be recognised among such distinguished businesses across Charmouth, Seaton, Sidmouth, Lyme Regis, and Axminster.”


Pictured here are all award winners  based in Seaton, L to R: Sonder Digital ‘Best Place to work’, The Gateway Theatre ‘Community Support Award’, Unique Boutique Events ‘Independent Business Award’, Seaton Tramway ‘Cafe, Pub and Casual Dining Award’, ‘Tourism Award’, ‘Business of the Year Award’. Photo: with permission.


Work to replace an 800-metre section of sewer in Exmouth has finished, South West Water (SWW) has announced.

The water company said the upgrade would ‘add resilience to the local network and prevent bursts’.

water pipe

The new rising main pipe.
Photo: with permission.

SWW said the sewer replacement formed part of a series of improvements for Exmouth, which included power and pump upgrades at Maer Road pumping station to reduce the use of the storm overflow and boosting the capacity of Maer Lane treatment works to reduce spills during periods of heavy rainfall.

Following four bursts to the sewer since December 2023, around £2 million has been invested to replace the stretch of pipe which runs from Plumb Park housing estate, in Litteham, Exmouth, to Maer Lane, SWW said.

John Halsall, South West Water’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “This has been a huge challenge and once again I’d like to reiterate how sorry we are for the disruption it has caused residents and landowners.”

The water company said it had also relined the sewer from Maer Lane into the sewage treatment works by creating a new pipe within the existing one.

During the work an overland pipe was fitted to take wastewater away from the damage section of pipe.


Wing mirrors on vehicles parked in the Littleham area of Exmouth have been broken off, prompting police to appeal for information.

The police team said several vehicles had been targeted in the early hours of the morning.

An Exmouth police spokesperson said: “Exmouth Police have been made aware of a number of vehicles having their wing mirrors broken off in Liverton Close, Littleham.

“The criminal damage has occurred in the early hours of the 3rd April 2024.

“Exmouth police are appealing to anyone who may have any knowledge of these incidents to contact police.”

Email:, quoting occurrence 5024005537.


AxminsterFirefighters in Axminster are gearing up for a car wash in aid of a charity which offers help to injured or recovering colleagues.

The charity car wash, in aid of the Fire Fighters Charity, takes place on Saturday, May 4, at Axe Valley Academy, Bus Park, Lyme Road, from 10am until 4pm.

Stalls selling hot food and refreshments will be available during the day.

And there will be raffle with prizes donated by local business.

Anyone wishing to donate a prize for the raffle is asked to get in touch with the fire station.

East Devon

Reports of equipment and tools being stolen from farms and workshops in East Devon has prompted the police to hold property marking sessions in rural areas.

Honiton neighbourhood police joined forces with the force’s rural crime team to help secure property.

East Devon

Photo: Devon and Cornwall Police.

A spokesperson for the rural police team said: “The crime type is a high priority within the force and we implore those who live and work in these areas to be vigilant and contact the police with any suspicious activity they see from people, vehicles, and drones.

“Your piece of information could be the missing piece in a past crime, or lead to us preventing future rural crime.”


Awards have been presented to members of the Beer Coastguard Rescue Team in recognition of their bravery, saving someone stuck halfway down a cliff in 2021.

Commendations for Meritorious Service were presented to seven members of the Beer Coastguard team, with an eighth member due to receive the accolade at a later date.


Photo: with permission Beer Coastguard Rescue Team.


Photo: with permission Beer Coastguard Rescue Team.

Attending the presentation, at the Axe Yacht Club, were Deputy chief Coastguard Matt Leat, Divisional Commander James Instance, Area Commander Drew Parkinson and Senior Coastguard Operations Officer Sam Houston.


Police are appealing for witnesses after an elderly man was punched to the ground by a gang of youths in Exmouth.

The man was left with head injuries and needed hospital treatment in what police are calling a ‘vicious attack’, that happened in Exmouth Indoor Market on the afternoon of Monday, April 15.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call police.

An Exmouth police spokesperson said: “Police are appealing for witnesses and anyone with any information to come forward after an elderly man was assaulted in the Exmouth Indoor Market.

“The incident in which a man sustained head injuries happened at approximately 4.25pm on the 15th April at the rear of the market in Manchester Street by a gang of youths.

“The victim was viciously attacked, punched, and knocked to the ground. The injuries sustained, required hospital treatment.”

If you have information to help police, call 101, or report it on the force’s website, quoting log 543 ,15th April 2024.


MP Richard Foord  has celebrated the opening of a state-of-the-art heat pump showroom and training centre in Honiton, launched by Bradfords.

East Devon

Richard Foord MP cuts the ribbon.
Photo: with permission.

The MP for Honiton and Tiverton officially opened the Daikin sustainable home centre, located at Station Approach, which aims to ‘provide training facilities to upskill heating engineers as the nation transitions from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and as a hub for homeowners to learn about renewable heating’.

Mr Foord said: “I’ve been very impressed by the Daikin Sustainable Home Centre and really enjoyed getting to see some of the models that are on offer during my visit. There are a range of low carbon technologies available that can be tailored to fit the needs of both the home and the user.

“As a heat pump owner myself, I know that this is a very efficient technology that does a great job of helping heat homes in a more sustainable way. I am keen to see more people trained to install and service heat pumps, as well as a growing number of apprentices working in this space.

“I am really glad to see that Bradford’s are working with Daikin to invest in low carbon heating and heat pump technology. Bradford’s training facility will help upskill a whole new generation of heat pump installers and is something we all should welcome.”


A new banking hub in Sidmouth was officially opened by East Devon MP Simon Jupp.


Simon Jupp MP officially opening Sidmouth’s Banking Hub.
Photo: with permission.

Cash Access UK has opened a a banking hub in the former Joules store, in New Street, the location of the new banking hub.

It will be open Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm and offer a host of different services.

A counter service, operated by staff from the Post Office, means customers from any bank can pay in cash and cheques, withdraw cash, check their balance, pay utility bills, top up their gas and electricity. Small businesses can access change-giving services.

A staffed advice room, where each day a different bank will be on a rota to help customers with queries, such as mortgages, loans, and pensions.

Sidmouth’s advice room rota is Monday (NatWest), Tuesday (HSBC), Wednesday (Santander), Thursday (Lloyds), Friday (Barclays).

Simon Jupp, MP for East Devon, said; “I was chuffed to be asked to cut the ribbon on Sidmouth’s new banking hub.

“Following a dedicated campaign and a great team effort from all those involved in its delivery, it’s fantastic to see this much-needed service open to residents.

“Staff from banks we haven’t seen in town for years are now available face-to-face each week. As a Sidmouth resident, I’m really looking forward to being a regular customer.”

He added: “After the success of securing banking hubs in Sidmouth and Axminster, I want to see more open across our part of Devon, in places including Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Ottery St Mary.

“I’ll continue working with LINK and Cash Access UK to get banking services back in our towns.”

Denese Molyneux, chair of Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, said; “The Chamber of Commerce is delighted at the opening of the banking hub, which has been well received by Sidmouth residents and businesses alike.

“We appreciate the efforts that Simon Jupp MP has made on behalf of the town to bring this most valuable facility within the reach of everyone.”

East Devon

A council clean-up campaign was announced for across East Devon after many coastal areas were damaged after the recent storms.

East Devon District Council said the storms impacted the sea wall in Exmouth, caused beach erosion, and pulled off a storm drain cover normally hidden far beneath the sand.

storm damage

Photos: EDDC.

An EDDC spokesperson said: “Recent stormy weather has left damage along East Devon’s seafronts, with the District Council’s teams working tirelessly to clear up.

“Issues have arisen in Exmouth, in particular, where the storms exacerbated damage to the seawall, caused beach erosion, dislodged a manhole cover, and scattered stones across the beach.

“The slipway is currently out of commission, but EDDC is aiming to carry out temporary repairs so that it can be used in the summer season.

“The National Coastwatch Institution building has been vacated due to damages. EDDC has installed large concrete pieces and concrete ‘lego blocks’ to safeguard the building from further damage.”

The district council added: “Phase one of the two-part seawall repair project began this month, and excellent progress is being made with a new steel sheet pile wall being installed every ten minutes.”

The council said it hoped the noisy work to install the steel piles would be completed by April 20.


Candidates competing in the May 2 by-election for the Exmouth Brixington ward of East Devon have been announced have been announced as Aurora Bailey (Conservative Party Candidate), Julie Bennett (The Labour Party), Dianne Conduit (Liberal Democrats) and Michael, Rosser (The Green Party).


A pair of donkeys from Sidmouth who helped scores of people in East Devon have retired to Cheshire to help bereaved Gerald.

Donkey Gerald has been grieving since last year after his 31-year-old companion horse Chester died.

His concerned owners contacted The Donkey Sanctuary’s welfare team to see if suitable companion could be found.


Henry and James with their new donkey friend Gerald.
Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.

Donkeys Henry, aged 17, and 14-year-old gelding James, who arrived at the sanctuary from Ireland several years ago, have gone to stay with Gerald, to live out their retirement following years helping scores of people through the sanctuary’s Donkey Assisted Activities centre.

Lauriel Woodley, centre manager, said: “James and Henry had been long-established members of our Donkey Assisted Activities herd and enriched the lives of many people over the years.

“They will of course be greatly missed by the team in Sidmouth, but we know that they will thrive enjoying all the individual attention they will receive in their guardian home, and in the companionship of Gerald.”


Henry and James pictured at the sanctuary in Sidmouth.
Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.


Henry and James at the Sidmouth Donkey Assisted Activities centre.
Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.


Axminster Eats Boutique has announced it will return in 2024 at a new location, opening on Minster Green.

The pop-up street food market will take place on Friday evenings during the summer.

The street food markets are free to enter.

The events begin on Friday, May 24, from 4pm until 9pm.

East Devon

Budleigh Salterton

Seafood restaurant Rockfish has submitted a planning application in Budleigh Salterton to open its first ever café.

Plans for the current Longboat Cafe include an upgrade of the site, a permanent conservatory over the courtyard with a retractable roof, and a log burner.

Rockfish said the café would ‘be a first’ for the restaurant chain in the South West.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Once approved, the application will secure the long-term future of the popular Longboat Cafe, negating a previous planning permission to demolish the site and construct a two-storey building, which was granted in 2013.”

They added: “The plans will see the much-loved local venue upgraded with a more permanent conservatory over the courtyard, featuring a retractable roof for the Summer and a log burner for the winter months.”

East Devon

Bicton College students are gearing up to set off on a 100-mile endurance challenge to raise funds for the Royal Marines Charity and RNLI.

Students from the Military and Protective Services Academy (MaPS) will tackle the coastal footpath from Studland in Dorset back to Bicton College, over two-and- a half-days.

They set off on the Baton of Bicton on April 30, arriving back in East Devon on May 2, hoping to cover 40 miles over each of the first two days, finishing with 20 miles on the final leg of the challenge.

The group has set up a JustGiving page for online donations.


The launch of Beer Eats Boutique weekly pop-up street food market has been announced, starting in the village on Friday, May 3, until September.

The events, in Jubilee Gardens, are from 4pm until 9pm, and are free to enter.


Council brings out the calculator amid ‘difficult decisions’ over the affordability of East Devon leisure and sport centres






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