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

Council leader confident that Seven Brethren plan is ‘right strategy’ for Barnstaple

PUBLISHED: 10:17 28 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:37 28 February 2017

North Devon Council leader Des Brailey has defended the council's vision for Seven Brethren in Barnstaple.

North Devon Council leader Des Brailey has defended the council's vision for Seven Brethren in Barnstaple.


District council responds to town council criticism of vision for riverside restaurants and cinema

The leader of North Devon Council has responded to criticism that plans for the redevelopment of Seven Brethren have been ‘plucked out of the air’ and would ‘further decimate’ the viability of the town centre.

Barnstaple Town Council also said the district council had failed to consult with town councillors over its vision for the site, which includes new riverside restaurants and a multi-screen cinema.

But district council leader Des Brailey told Gazette he was confident the council was pursuing the right strategy for Barnstaple.

In a letter to the Gazette, said: “We are excited about the future opportunities for Barnstaple. The town is the sub regional centre of North Devon performing well with the scope to attract more significant investment.

“Much like Barnstaple, Dorchester, Trowbridge and Hereford are all strong market towns serving a rural catchment. They have all seen investment in edge-of-centre development sites in the last few years – Brewery Square in Dorchester; St Stephen’s Place in Trowbridge; and Old Market in Hereford.

“The schemes have all included retail, restaurant, residential and cinema uses, in differing combinations. Our Economic Development Team has personally visited each location and met with local stakeholders, either the local authority or town centre manager, in order to understand how each development scheme came forwards and the impact it has had on the town centre and wider town.

“In all cases this has been positive for these towns. As well as this, we are aware that Taunton is developing a similar mixed use edge of centre scheme at Firepool.

“On the basis of Barnstaple’s current performance and the strategies being undertaken by similar towns I am confident we are pursuing the right strategy for Barnstaple. Indeed, not to be seeking to develop the town in this way is likely to be detrimental to Barnstaple town centre’s future performance.

A draft plan of how the new Seven Brethren development could be laid out. Picture: North Devon Council A draft plan of how the new Seven Brethren development could be laid out. Picture: North Devon Council

“To help with parking we have appointed consultants to work on a car parking strategy, Jones Lang Lasalle working with Hydrock. This work will be expected to be completed by the end of June/July 2017.

“In terms of the development of Seven Brethren and traffic issues, we are aware of current traffic movements and have had a number of discussions with Devon County Council Highways. Detailed work on a transport assessment and a responding transport strategy to support the development of Seven Brethren will be undertaken as part of the work to bring Seven Brethren’s exciting plans forwards.

“I would agree that there is merit in considering the options for the civic centre site. This site is not owned by us but we would welcome further discussions with Devon County Council, who own the site, on this matter.

“Officers from our Economic Development Team would be happy to come along to a future or a special Barnstaple Town Council meeting to discuss the town council’s concerns.”

A masterplan is being drawn up for Severn Brethren in Barnstaple. Picture: Austin Wallas A masterplan is being drawn up for Severn Brethren in Barnstaple. Picture: Austin Wallas

Do you agree with North Devon Council? Are a new cinema and restaurants at Seven Brethren the right vision for Barnstaple? Email your thoughts to

Related articles

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories


There are proposals for a cycle bridge across the North Devon Link Road from Seven Brethren in Barnstaple

Read more

Will festive video go viral? St Michael’s Nursery in Barnstaple is racking up the social media views for its Christmas video debut

Read more

New leisure centre at Seven Brethren approved by council planning committee this morning (Wednesday)

Read more

A teaching assistant is fundraising to bring her husband’s family to Devon for Christmas after their home was ravaged by a tropical hurricane. Can you help?

Read more
Yesterday, 19:06

The Gazette has been along to review Beauty and the Beats at the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple – have you got your tickets yet?

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

The Appledore RNLI lifeboat was requested to transport a woman who needed hospital treatment after being injured on Lundy

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

Dogs Trust Ilfracombe has revealed the bizarre excuses why people gave up their dog last Christmas, including ‘he was a secret Santa’ and ‘he pants too much’.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:55

A nine-year-old girl left severely disabled with cerebral palsy after mistakes at North Devon District Hospital has been awarded £20million in damages at the High Court.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:17

Torridge District Council and North Devon Council are reminding people what can and cannot be recycled over Christmas and New Year.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:36

The community has pulled together to help landlords of The Bell Inn in Parkham re-open in a temporary premises, celebrating with a Christmas lunch for all.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 10°C

min temp: 4°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