Councillors have voted to award a new contract for the East-the-Water Wharves site in Bideford - and promise shops, a quayside walk, restaurants, homes and a floating pontoon.
A public piazza, restaurants and shops, new homes and a floating pontoon will be part of a £20million investment in East-the-Water Wharves.
Torridge District Council has announced the prime site will be developed by Tiverton-based business Red Earth Developments Ltd, and could be complete by 2021.
Councillor James Morrish, TDC lead member for the economy, said: “The wharves site in Bideford has been identified by councillors as a key to unlocking further regeneration in the area.
“The process of marketing and selecting a preferred bid has now been completed and Red Earth will be the catalyst for delivering this substantial investment.
“We’re looking forward to the site being brought forward with a contemporary build whilst ensuring public access and facilities are incorporated into the final design.
“We will also look to capture and include the views of the town council and residents but I’m glad that a forward momentum is again being generated in making this happen.”
The site was originally sold to Bideford Marina Ltd in 2013, but last year Torridge cut ties with the company, claiming the ‘terms were not met’.
The site was put back on the market with JLL in June last year and Red Earth’s bid was chosen as the ‘most viable’ of the five received.
When will Brunswick Wharf be developed?
Before any development takes place, the wall frontage to the river will need to be stabilied.
Red Earth won the contract on the condition of securing planning permission and legal formalities.
The site already has planning permission, granted in 2014, for a ‘mixed use’ development comprising 52 residential units, retail/commercial space, car parking and a marina.
Following further site work the developers hope to be in a position to submit a detailed planning application in the summer of 2018 to be followed by a period of public consultation.
Once planning consent is granted a projected start date is envisaged in the summer of 2019, with a build out time of 24 months.
This means the new site could be open by 2021.
Creating a ‘destination’
The decision to appoint Red Earth was taken in a closed council meeting last month.
TDC claims the new developers have a ‘solid track record’ for projects in historical towns and on waterside sites.
Simon Friend, owner and managing director of Red Earth, said: “We are delighted that councillors have placed their trust in our bid to deliver a mixed use development for this prestigious site.
“We want to develop the site as an accessible ‘destination’ for residents and visitors that maximises the potential of this unique and historic waterside location.
“This is an exciting one-off opportunity to create a landmark scheme that will compliment the town centre and support the council’s economic regeneration programme.”
Adelle Moore, surveyor at JLL, said: “The proposed scheme includes a large public piazza and quay side walk, restaurants and shops alongside high quality residential accommodation.
“The current plans for the scheme also include a floating pontoon and public art installation. The overall investment is likely to be in excess of £20million.”
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