Devon County Council have approved a £1.5million enhancement. Through traffic to remain with wider pavement, and decision on removing wall and replace with railings still to be considered
Does that mean no parking on the Strand? If it doesn't, then what's the bloody point? £1.5m for a wider pavement - someone's having a right laugh!!
there will be parking from what I understand, but only one side of the road
A recipe for disaster and a total waste of money. If this was Teignmouth, the money would have been wisely used to enhance the town for the benefit of residents abd visitors alike. A once in a generation opportunity has been lost, I'm afraid. Still when you get idiots, like the sweetshop owner in last weeks paper, blaming Sainsburys for all their ills, it goes to show the mediocrity of those who are stuck in the past. Whoever is last out of town, please switch off the crappy lights down the centre of the brook.
Just out of curiousity Nelson how do you think The Strand area should be redeveloped?
I think we will have to wait to see what will be done. In the Gazette report a mention is made of Mary Portus observations on town centres and she say its vital we have parking in centres. Due to Dawlishs road layout pedestrianisation would never have worked and what is criminal here is the waste of money spent on this excersise. I for one am glad of the outcome the Strand can still be made an inviting place if it is done correctly
I am making no comments as I could not improve on this, a verbatim copy of Robert Steadman on the Mary Portas 'Report'
I think the term that comes to mind is ‘poppycock’!
We don't have a thriving high street because shoppers, in their droves, have turned their back on them. They, generally, offer a smaller range of goods at more expensive prices than out of town centres and, when car park charges are included, there seems little to recommend the high street.
My objections to her proposals are numerous, because her report is fundamentally flawed.
We live, rightly or wrongly, in a capitalist system. It is not for the government to be manipulating the marketplace to favour one type of shopping outlet over another. Businesses fail because they fail to find customers and fail to move with the times. It is right that bad businesses fail - and no good business fails, ever.
Portas' suggestion of a "National Market Day" is silly style over substance nonsense of which Barack Obama, the ultimate style over substance politician, would be proud. Yes, events can help drive business, but they have to be events with a purpose and, probably, a local focus.
In our already overly consumerist society,do we really want another day to celebrate shopping and consumerism? I'm sure Hallmark are already planning on printing "Happy Market Day" cards that they will sell... In their out of town mall outlets!
Some towns do manage to have thriving and successful town centres and high streets. If some can succeed then it is only incompetence that makes others fail, and location is a factor. Many thriving high streets are in places where lots of people visit, there is a tourist pull.
And isn't it right that everything, including the way in which we shop, evolve? Some may not like shopping malls but they are what the majority of people choose to use. Why should they be penalised because some monstrous woman, and some idiots on the Tory right, have a rise-tinted view of what shopping used to be like.
Things change. Live with it.
Yes, I agree that out of town shopping centres have an unfair advantage when it comes to parking, and that parking charges in some towns is quite expensive, but aren't we meant to be discouraging car use, for the sake of the environment? I'd favour all shops, malls and out of town retail parks having to charge for their car parking - and probably at a higher rate than at present. Certainly, it's wrong that the likes of the Trafford Centre and Meadowhall can offer free parking all day - but it is equally wrong that car parking charges in small towns are reduced. Look at the big picture.
Now I agree with Portas about reducing red tape - but not reducing it for the sake of it, only when it is not necessary - again, ths should apply to all businesses, not just high street shops. And let's not forget, some red tape is essential.
Ultimately,shoppers will go where they will get the most convenient value for money. The high street has had it's day and, apart from tourist towns, I suggest it has died - and so be it.
As my wife will attest, I'm not a fan of big shopping malls, but I won't shed a single tear for the death of the high street, andI think it is wrong that any public money is used to keep this dodo on a life support system just to appease those who haven't moved with the times.
The high street is dead. So what?
I have to say Wriggler that I have also registered, but chosen not to bring to others' attention until now, the irony of our Conservative led/Orange book Liberal Democrat Coalition Government ie two political groups which believe in, and pursue, neoliberal none state interference in 'the market', doing quite the opposite of what it preaches when it comes to town centres and how they can be revived.
That said, Dawlish town centre is in such a sad and sorry state that I think we should try and help it as best we can. It is, after all, our town centre.
What else do you suggest we do? Just leave it to its own devices?
Forgot to say that Newton Abbot and T'mouth town centres seem to be thriving alright - certainly in comparison to Dawlish.
So the question surely is: "Why isn't Dawlish t.c. thriving?" Granted it is smaller than NA and T'mouth but why is Dawlish as it is and T'mouth and NA not?
Compare the centre of Dawlish to the centre of Teignmouth which has a hub of shops, with a varierty of products. Many more coaches drop off people in Teignmouth for longer periods. I have spoken to coach drivers who don't stop in Dawlish as they don't want to park in Sandy lane and sit there as there isn't enough time to walk into town and back, they often ask passengers to buy them a pasty or other food while they sit and wait. Teignmouth often, even in winter has 5/6 coachloads of people in town and locals shop there because they can get what they need and the drivers also have the option to go into town as the coach park is nearby.
I have been asked several times by coach trippers, "Where are the shops", I personally don't see the point in going on a coach trip then just visiting shops but that is what the 'punters' want.
I am repeating myself but the centre of Teignmouth has cafes, WH Smiths, pound shops, fish and chip shops, jewellers, etc it offers a wide range of what people need on a daily basis.
All the shops that have closed in Dawlish over the last few years have done so for a reason, small towns cannot provide what most customers want so they go to larger areas and Supermarkets, that IS NOT going to change.
It's almost inevitable that this town within 5 years, or less, will be a residential town with a few small shops and cafes and quite frankly I don't have a problem with Dawlish being a residential town, we have pubs, plenty of pleasant walking, a good theatre, it's a pleasant place to live. The layout of Dawlish doesn't easily lend itself to 'modernisation'. I believe the best solution to bring more money and make the Cafes and Pubs worthwhile in is to concentrate on Summer trade by having more events to increase the population in Summer. The Lawn could be well used for music/jazz and possibly more reasons, in particular something that will attract families in the Summer we are sadly lacking in this regard compared to many other coastal towns. With the improvement in facilities at Dawlish Warren, visitors will stay there and Dawlish will decline further from this year unless it provides attractions for holidaymakers to visit.
It would be interesting to survey the large number of Dawlish residents who leave Town every day on the number 2 bus, and ask them why they travel toTeignmouth and Newton Abbot and not spend their day in Dawlish? These are residents who are taking their money out of town every day. A much more useful survey than the endless questionaires that shopkeepers in town are asked to fill in as to what they want to see happen in Dawlish, asking their potential customers why they spend their money elsewhere would be much more worthwhile.
Bravo Wriggler! That's the most sensible commentary that I've read during this one-sided 'debate'.
Wriggler - surprise! surprise! I go along an awful lot with your sentiments and the argument you've put forward. On another thread I've referred to previous reports concerning the regeneration of Dawlish. May be it's me who's misread them but don't they both suggest developing the town along the lines that you do?
Now, if we can start to think 'outside the box' in terms of Dawlish's town centre's future (by which I mean it doesn't necessarily have to be shop based) we might start getting somewhere.
As I've said elsewhere - Dawlish needs a unique selling point. Just the small (small? ha!) matter of us deciding and agreeing what that should be.
Different town centres offering different things in different towns. Now, that's choice and competition something I feel sure this government should approve of!
Today at 10:30 there were 8, that is eight, coachloads of people dropped off in Teignmouth, another two coaches were passing the Railway Station on their way to the coach park. conservatively that means at least 300 people 'dumped' into Teignbridge town centre by 10:30.
If Dawlish were to welcome coaches, (ie Coach Drivers) by allowing them to park in Barton Carpark then I am sure this Town would also get several hundred extra tourists a week. If we got several hundred more tourists a week then.................................possibilities.
Lack of parking is this Town's biggest problem and a difficult one to solve but if people can't park they don't stop.
Ever been to Looe, small town, small population, narrow roads in, not an easy route for coaches to but heaving with tourists most of the year, why, LOTS of parking within a few minutes walk of the centre and beach.
Looe doesn't have a unique selling point, Teignmouth doesn't have a unique selling point but they have lots of parking and it isn't free, it doesn't need to be, parking is very profitable.
But I can be sure that Barton Carpark will remain just a carpark with it's narrow entrance, poor layout, silly badly placed redundant hut and even more badly placed re-cycling units. Have you ever seen the problems the pick up lorries have trying to swop them.
Whoever planned the layout of Barton Carpark should be ( ). You can fill in the gap.
If Dawlish doesn't make more effort to welcome drivers it will soon need Resurrection not Regeneration. My previous suggestions of music/sport etc events on the Lawns are also non-starters is there is no parking.
There were also coaches dropping off in Dawlish outside Baileys - I saw them. I was also told by my partner who had walked the dog at Sandy Lane playing fields earlier in this morning that there were 4 coaches parked up in the car-park by where the football club social club used to be.
Not the same number of coaches as you report were in T'mouth admittedly, but the point is they were here today as well.
Re Barton carpark: Are you suggesting that it could, if the deckchairs were re-arranged as it were, be the saving of Dawlish?
I have not been in Dawlish long, But can we not all work together and get Dawlish how we want it ?.
Dawlish is and will always be a nice place to be.
I will give up my time to help out . We must all pull together.
We must fight for what we want.
I agree Sniper and have said the same before on here. Unfortunately there are plenty of people willing to moan, but who are unwilling to get off their arses and make a difference. Please feel free to organise something FOR an improved Dawlish, as opposed to those pathetic little englanders like Roy and Mary East who prefer to be AGAINST everything. I'd be more than happy to lend a hand to anything practical.
Thanks for that. It's good to see someone on here has some BALLS.
Might it be the case that an example of someone having balls would be for them to a write a letter to the local paper, and a not uncontroversial* letter at that, and to quite openly put their name to it?
(* and of course it is only controversial if you disagree with its contents)
They would be more ballsy if the said what they were going to DO to improve the town!!! People like them are leading us to fall farther and farther behind Teignmouth and Exmouth.
I lived in Dawlish for 20 years and follow what goes on closely. I am afraid you cannot fight the march of time (some call it progress) and if everyone is honest with themselves they just have to watch what has been happening for many years. A large Supermarket was bound to come and this will accelerate the process. Sad that it was builtg on a green field.
When I arrived they were about to knock down The Red Lion, you could see where shops had been oppsite here but had been closed years before, those left were giving a local service but once the Butcher closed the writing was on the wall for them too. Further along there was the wet fish shop, that closed when the owner retired. Bet people are buying fish at Sainsbury now who haven't bought it for years. The bakers next door moved down to Chis Taylors shop which closed when Stokes opened. Good move on their part but left two premises up there which look 'closed'. Now Stokes are having a job to survive in the town as well as elsewhere. Co-op gone to replace Somerfield (Gateway)
Opposite there was a fruit and veg shop, now a private house. Shoe repair shop moved, shop full of televisions next to the Chinese... is that still there?. Poppadums moved down to the Strand years ago. Yet again good forward thinking.
In Queen Street there were two elderly ladies with a sweet shop and tobacconists... Force & Son?. Further up there was another run by chap who was always standing in the doorway... now 'antiques'. Who would want a fag shop nowadays. There used to be a lovely one on the Strand where the deli was until recently. Another small one near the top of Beach Street and Tony in the kiosk at the station. They all (inc Town Street News) made some kind of a livng and all closed long before Sainsburys arrived. Greengrocers.. retired as have most Greengrocers around the country. There are several endagered species in the Strand. I understand Lloyds chemists is on the way. Very rare to see an independent Phone shop nowadays....Boots have had their troubles nationally and may, like others, decide to rationalize. You never know they may buy Lloyds or vice versa!!! Furniture shop now Boots, Fosters Gents clothing, Martins, another Newsagent... have people stopped reading?.Two secondhand Bookshops All gone, Midland bank... rationalized. Off Licence Bust.
So it will go on. All shops on the periphery are at risk and will either shut or move closer to the Strand or the bottom end of Piermont place. Unless somebody has a good idea they run a severe risk of catching a cold in Dawlish. The Baileys coffee shop at the bottom of Queen Street is an exception to the rule.(Luckily Costa Coffee didn,t want Bow Windows). Well designed, run and attractive. Bon Bouche, lovely food but what happens when Frank retires? Perhaps he should move his business to the, now closed, deli.
I could go on but I have no solution for the town, time will take its course.
To some extent I agree with wrigglers comments about the future of the town. Remember there are, countless other high streets up and down the country in a similar position with phone shops and charity shops galore. But I do think Dawlish does have something to offer. Anyone one of you who has ever visited Boughton-on-the-water in the Cotswolds will recall that it is a small town with a river running right through the middle of it. It has a model village, Birdland, and huge trout swimming in the river. A number of cafes and tea rooms, and a load of souvenir shops. What it doesn't have is the sea. Now Dawlish has a usp just the same as Boughton. All it needs is some careful investment from the council, and some support from the community. The Dawlish chamber of trade is getting to be a more involved body thanks to its chairman. Being negative only grinds people down and I am tempted to say to people if you don't like living in Dawlish etc.... Look at the positives, apart from the brook and the park, it's a beautiful part of south Devon. Fantastic coastline with great walks. Superb countryside. Wonderful historic architecture. A brilliant railway journey along a historical line. Haldon hills. Great golf courses. Brilliant for bike riding. Fantastic local ales. An amazing Choice of locally sourced foods. Yet you are just a short drive away from Exeter with all the advantages a big city brings. Dawlish has the feel of a village sometimes, yet it runs a carnival and an airshow! Phew! Now I'm done. I'll stand back and wait for the on-slaught!
I think it might be Bourton-on-the-Water.
Spent a bit of time at RAF Fairford . it is a nice place but not as nice as Dawlish.
Well said Willos! Definitely no onslaught from this direction! Positive Mental Attitude! Now we need some Positive Physical Action from the townsfolk.
Bourton-on-the Water eh? Do you know Willo that I'd forgotten all about the place until you posted about it. Goodness what memories that brought back of day trips to it from Bristol when I was a kid. I see why you can spot similarities between Bourton and here. Bourton describes itself as the Venice of the Cotswolds. Is there anywhere around here do you think that could describe itself as the Venice of South Devon .............?
Here is a link for Bourton-on-the Water.
Now here's a radical thought. You know that lovely privately owned parkland that exists almost in the centre of Dawlish, the one that's located over old town way, you know the one I mean, you can't miss it really. Begins with an 'L'.
Well now, wouldn't that be just an absolutely fantastic additional tourist attraction if the grounds were to be open to the public? I'd prefer free access myself but I suppose an admission charge would be acceptable.
Well, why not?
Interesting. I don't know why you have it in for the Luscombe estate, but I think we need to concentrate on the actual town centre and sea front first. And we don't want the NIMBYs complaining about all those tourist coaches driving past their former greenfield homes to get to the estate, do we?!
PS. Keep banging on about Bourton, and Wondering will want to move there! ;-)
I wonder how much of the town centre and sea front area the L estate own.
WillosinDawlish - spot on!
There are LOADS of small businesses here in Dawlish that are thriving and serving local people every day - they just aren't all on the high street, but it doesn't mean they don't count in the overall effect of what makes Dawlish and great place to live and work. A quick look in the Essential Guide to Dawlish shows just how many small businesses there are in the area making a living. And the more local people use them, the better the town's economy will be.
Sainsbury's has had an effect on the town, some will say good and some will say bad - I for one no longer trek over to Newton Abbot, Torquay or Exeter to do my weekly shop and so I no longer pop into the shops in those towns for extra bits and pieces that I want to buy. But can I get those things in Dawlish? Well a few of them, but honestly I am more likely to get them in Teignmouth - and why? Well because there are lots of good small shops there. For example if I need kitchen stuff I go to McGregors or Fork Handles in Teignmouth, but if I need pet stuff I go to Park Road Pets here in Dawlish - the two towns complement each other a lot for shopping and maybe in this economic climate that is no bad thing. Teignmouth and Dawlish people using the best of each town to do their shopping.
The High Street didn't exist in the way we know it now only a very few short years ago, then shopping habits changed and shopping streets began to be built and used, but the decline has been over decades not just the last few years and town shopping areas have shrunk back in the centre, but have spread in other ways - just think of some of the businesses over at Shutterton. Change happens and it doesn't always have to be met with dread, but can be used to gain a benefit for the town.
But one thing is for sure, if the town's shopkeepers and local businesses only concentrate on the tourists and the money they bring in then the town WILL die because this is fickle business that relies too much on the weather or the strength of the pound. Businesses and the town itself need to look at the population that is here 12 months of the year - needing things and spending money. That is the way to survive. Serve the tourist trade too, but not at the expense of what the residents need. Smaller towns that Dawlish, with smaller shoppping areas, are thriving in a way we could envy because they serve their local community needs first and visitors see how nice it is and choose to visit.
Bryony - Please can you give us some examples of the smaller towns that you refer to in your last sentence. That way we can all think about them in relation to Dawlish.
If I can butt into this, a couple of small towns that I visited last year come to mind. One is Honiton and the other is Bridport in Dorset. Both of these towns have a thriving high street with what you might call 'proper shops' selling things that local people buy, not just food products but clothes and toys like Lego which you can't get any longer in Dawlish since Davidsons closed and obviously you have to go further afield for. I still reckon that the death knell sounded when Woolworth's shut as it brought people on to the Strand who then went on to look in the other shops. If the Co-op had any gumption it would have opened a general store in that old building, something along the lines of the Plymco that used to be at Kingsteignton selling a variety of products. As it is now, if people want to buy anything not food-related they are forced to go elsewhere.
If you want things that are not food related in Dawlish, then try Bob at Dawlish Discount. And if he doesn't have it, he'll get it for you - excellent service. He got me a large pyrex casserole dish recently at a good price. I think he delivers too.
Small towns can thrive; the Lake District has small towns that always seem to be busy (Grasmere, Ambleside, Ulverston, ) They have attractive shops with tempting window displays, and they open on Sundays.
Woolbrook, thankyou, you have described what has happened in towns all over the UK. This 'change' has been occuring for many, many years. Some towns will have a High Street that is busy and survives, one example given above is Honiton, but if you live in Honiton you probably get most of what you need there. People who live in Dawlish are a few minutes from Teignmouth and Newton Abbot, where they can get 90-100% of what they need.
This is getting repetitive but locals haven't supported local shops for years, what reason is there for anyone to open a new shop in Dawlish???????? It isn't going to happen, that's why every empty shop becomes a charity shop.
I'm not being negative, just practical, as per previous comments and re-iterated by willosindawlish, Dawlish needs tourists, Residents have already voted with their feet.
I used to have a shop in Dawlish and I will never forget the comment of a woman from out just past Port Road......"Very nice, I'll come when you have a closing down sale." I hope she reads this as she might just as well have stuck a knife in me at the time.
Woolbrook ..I had exactly the very same comment said to me. They never had the pleasure of a sale, stock was sold online!... at least you dont get the 'nasty' comments there.
I agree too wirh what Wriggler says...Honiton yes, Totnes? too.
As said above, its time to call time on this ...Dawlish people voted with their feet...when Barclays left, then HSBC it was obvious people were not banking too much.
Always feet ..people dont like to see people doing well with a good trade, maybe thats envy ..plently of comments as you have seen here when shops close. There is nothing to stop anyone opening up though is there?.. but I have no idea what people want, certainly the multiples like Argos etc will not see a reason to be attracted.
Dawlish should make more of its coastline ..hardly ever gets a mention.
oops typo 'Always feel...'
Dawlish and its coastline - yes I agree that's what should be concentrated on - along with its other natural attributes.
I think that was what the Amberlinecoast Regeneration Report had in mind.
Lynne I am very happy to provide examples of other small towns - Topsham is the closest one that springs to mind and I know for a fact that LOTS of Dawlish people, with plenty of money to spend, choose to go over there to do their shopping from a good variety of independent shops. Bridport I agree is another, Totnes and Honiton also and the list could go on with towns from all over the UK. Even poor old Okehampton, with all the economic crisis that town has faced recently, has a far better selection of interesting shops to browse around. I even spent a very happy afternoon in Ashburton a few months back browing round a seletion of interesting shops - not that many, but people were shopping and spending in them. What all these places have in common is that they are filled with small independent shops catering for the LOCAL population, not trying to justify a business on the back of possible tourist trade. The trouble is that people are told over and over again that there is no money in Dawlish, so what incentive is there for a small busines to open. But there is plenty of wealth in Dawlish, it just gets spent in other towns.
Dawlish is an amazing place to live - and the coast is wonderful and I wouldn't choose to be anywhere else - but if that is all that is concentrated on then the town will die off.
Bryony I agree, paid a visit to Topsham a while back and had forgotten what a lovely place it was. It was a cold day with showers but that didnt put people off it was very busy, and its not pedestrianised!!!
Just visited Sidmouth. First time for many years. A busy, bustling seaside town with plenty of people about, a number of pay parking areas but also "free" on-street parking for local shopping (i.e. half-hour time limits), pedestrianised area in centre of town, quality shops, a market in the centre and evidence of lots of other activities - art exhibitions, regular jazz sessions, busy and helpful tourist information office. Population of Sidmouth is 14,400 - only slightly bigger than Dawlish. So it can be done.
There is nothing special about Sidmouth. Yes it is historic and on the coast but so is Dawlish. But it was LIVELY and obviously used by locals and visitors alike.
One of the problems the shops in Dawlish have is that while they are open during the week a lot of the townsfolk are working elsewhere.
It would be really interesting to know the percentage of people in Totnes and Honiton who live/work in their home town.
If I live in Dawlish but work in Exeter then generally I'll shop in Exeter apart from days off, which to be honest aren't spent shopping! By the time I get home the only shops open are Sainsburys and convenience stores. Both men and women are working full time so there aren't the people here to spend money.
I probably spent more time in Dawlish town centre 20 odd years ago because I could visit my bank (Barclays), building society (Bristol and West). The things I HAVE TO buy (school clothes/shoes) are no longer available in Dawlish so I rarely get drawn into those other shops.
Building more homes won't help the town if there are no jobs to go with them as people will still commute out and shop on the way home/lunchtime.
So even as a commuter town Dawlish has something to offer. There are many reasons to live Dawlish othe than shops...