Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Big step forward for Barnstaple regeneration plans

PUBLISHED: 10:05 23 February 2012

COUNCILLORS Malcolm Prowse and Brian Greenslade study development proposals for the Queen Street, Bear Street and multi storey car park sites in Barnstaple.

COUNCILLORS Malcolm Prowse and Brian Greenslade study development proposals for the Queen Street, Bear Street and multi storey car park sites in Barnstaple.


District council begins process to appoint agent for Queen and Bear street site and Seven Brethren schemes.

MAJOR plans for the redevelopment of Barnstaple town centre are off the back burner and on the fast track agenda in a bid to dig North Devon out of the economic doldrums, according to senior councillors.

North Devon Council has taken the next step with long-standing plans for revitalising the Queen Street, Bear Street and Seven Brethren areas as it prepares to appoint a commercial agent to market the sites to developers.

Ambitions to develop both sites with a mix of retail, leisure and housing have simmered for several years but now the current administration says it is keen to get cracking and help kick start the local economy.

Six potential agents have been shortlisted and asked to submit formal tenders, with a view to appointment by mid April. The work to find suitable developers will then begin.

“Developing these sites will bring much needed investment into the town, as well as boosting the shopping and leisure choice,” said Councillor Malcolm Prowse, Executive Member for Economic Regeneration.

“In the past people have felt the planning process could only react, so we are very keen to turn that around and plan for our future – to make it happen and happen quickly.”

Four years ago detailed proposals for the Queen Street and Bear Street site were unveiled by Wilson Bowden Developments, but came to nothing following the economic downturn.

The council’s planning brief proposes “a mixed retail and leisure development, to include a department store and housing.”

The site includes the council owned multi storey car park plus the adjoining district council car parks, a little over four acres. The multi storey will be demolished this month and a new temporary car park will be created.

Mr Prowse told the Gazette the council had been approached by “two major players” in the national retail industry that were interested in the site and would be “in it for the long haul”.

“People are fed up with being bombarded by huge scale supermarket type proposals – there is a balance in these sites for national business, as with most high streets, but also for local traders too,” he said.

Council Leader, Councillor Brian Greenslade, said he felt they were striking at the right time:

“We can act as a catalyst to get things moving. It is one of our top priorities for regeneration and we are giving it all the push we can, because the earlier we can make it happen, the better it will be for the community,” he said.

“The inquiries by national companies show a level of interest in Barnstaple similar to before the economic slump. We need to plan our own recovery and that will give people confidence.”

Consultants will begin an independent retail and leisure study for North Devon and Torridge next month. Due for completion in June, it will be used to help steer development of the town centre sites and determine what shopping and leisure facilities are needed.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 18:55

A road it completely blocked after a crash involving two vehicles near Georgeham.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30

Police were called to a multi-vehicle road collision near Barnstaple this evening (Tuesday).

Read more
Yesterday, 16:32

Emergency services are working to free an elderly woman from a car after a crash at Westacott Road in Whiddon Valley, Barnstaple, this afternoon (Tuesday).

Read more
Yesterday, 15:36

A dental nurse from Braunton is heading out to Africa to volunteer onboard a hospital ship providing emergency dental care to people in desperate need of treatment.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:35

A Bideford man is hoping to break the world record for the longest non-stop bass-playing session.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:43

Bideford Library will no longer be moving into The Burton – and the search is on for a new alternative site.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

A new headteacher has been appointed for Pilton Community College.

Read more
Mon, 18:33

The A399 near Barnstaple has been blocked after a crash involving two vehicles.

Read more
Mon, 17:21

Bratton Fleming Village Stores is settling into its new home thanks to a huge effort from the community.

Read more
Mon, 14:57

Will you be buying a EuroMillions ticket for tomorrow night’s draw? If so, you could be in with a chance at a £141million jackpot.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 3°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications