Chair Message, Spring 2020

Dear Fellow Members,

Since I first drafted this message the situation has drastically changed due to the coronavirus and we
are all keeping our distance. I am sure this has created a number of problems for our members as well
as their families and friends. There is, however, a bright spot in all this as so many people are looking out for their neighbours and offering help. Most essential shops (pharmacies & supermarkets) are providing delivery services.
We are also lucky in that we can still keep in touch by telephone, e-mail and skype. Our NHS is doing
its best and we must all respect the restrictions imposed to try to keep us safe. At least I have no
excuse to put off spring cleaning!

This year TARA has gone from strength to strength now having 250 household memberships.
Our newish website and the fact that all but a few members have e-mail addresses means that your
Committee can keep you informed much easier of activity in the Avenues. And you can alert us to your
concerns.

A number of issues are on-going in liaison with our local Councillors, such as potholes, speeding
especially in Douglas Avenue, concern over trees and parking problems. At least the number of lorries
rumbling through our patch has thankfully declined.

There have been a number of individual or small to medium planning applications which your
Committee have looked at and have lodged objections where they felt it was appropriate. Decisions
from EDDC are still pending on some.

The main projects on-going now are continuing work at Plumb Park, the progress on the Deaf Academy
and the sale of the eastern end of the Rolle site which came as a surprise to us.

In early February I was invited to meet with the Regional Director of Acorn, the development company
who have purchased the latter site. Five TARA Committee members were taken on a conducted tour
of the site which Acorn only purchased in January. They also own the current Deaf Academy site in
Exeter and will be developing that once the Academy moves to Exmouth towards the end of April. We
were shown brochures of existing Acorn developments which look to be of a high standard.
Subject to planning approval the intention is to build apartments nearer the Deaf Academy including
3 or 4 in the listed Eldin Building and “bespoke” houses at the Portland Avenue end. Access will be via
the stone pillared entrance in Douglas Avenue which will have to be widened and reinstated.
Inevitably some trees will have to be felled although they are all subject to Tree Preservation Orders.
We were assured that as many as possible will be retained and new ones planted.
On the whole it was a positive meeting with the three Acorn representatives who continue to keep in
touch as their plans develop. We shall be monitoring the situation and scrutinising the planning
application once it is submitted.

In the same week Steve Morton, the Fundraising and Marketing Director for Exeter Royal Academy
for Deaf Education (ERADE), extended an invitation to visit the new buildings. Roy Pryke and Jim
Barnes Phillips accompanied me. We were issued with hard hats, steel toed boots, goggles and gloves
before setting out. The imaginative and functional design of the educational and residential buildings
is impressive. There was still some way to go to completion but a large work force was hard at it. New furnishing is to be supplied by IKEA. The Owen Building will be the administrative block with the
theatre retained. The Academy will be a great asset to Exmouth.
The Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) was already installed outside with artificial turf and,since our visit,
the hard landscaping has progressed. The very wet weather has not made things easy. You will see
that we intend to foster good relations with the Academy and Sara Arthur has an article in the
newsletter outlining her idea for a joint project with students.

We are already planning for the TARA AGM in mid-September and hope things will have returned to
normal by then. We will notify members once things are clear.

Meanwhile I hope you are coping with the new lifestyle and are staying healthy.
Best wishes from your Chairman, Deirdre Jennings