Dozens turn out to consultation on 600 new Bideford homes
17:46 21 November 2013
Concerns were raised over the need for the homes, lack of jobs and possible flooding due to ‘Bideford expansion’.
DOZENS of people have turned out this afternoon (Thurs) to view plans for 600 new homes on land south of Clovelly Road in Bideford.
The plans by Linden Homes were revealed in the Gazette yesterday (Weds) and cover an 85 acre patch which is currently covered by 10 fields.
The site is allocated in the joint draft local plan for development, and the plans outline 1.5 hectares of employment land, community allotments, a play area and a new primary school, ‘if it is needed’.
Linden Homes said they will analyse the feedback from people attending the consultations and submit an outline planning application to Torridge District Council next month.
But many residents attending the consultation raised concerns over the plans on display.
Marretta Corliss lives half a mile from the site, and said she was concerned about many things, including the possibility of flooding.
“Our little lane gets flooded and when they put concrete over all those fields its just going to get worse,” she said.
“And what about the traffic? That lane is going to turn into a rat run full of racers.
“The Atlantic Array corridor is proposed to run behind where we are, and now we’ll have this the other side.
“I really am quite disgusted by these plans.”
Siobhan Henderson, who also lives nearby, said she was disappointed in what she had seen so far.
She said: “They assume all these people are going to work in Bideford, but there are not enough jobs for people now.”
Stanley Hockridge was born on a farm half a mile away from the site, where he still lives and works now.
He said: “Why do they have to build this here, on the countryside?
“I don’t see why they can’t work on areas nearer to the town, such as by the college where they are building houses now.
“This is two miles from the town centre, it seems ridiculous to build them here.”
Richard Ayre, strategic land director for Linden Homes, said he had spoken to several people at the consultation and had a ‘mixed response’.
He said: “We’ve had about 40 people so far today and it’s been a fairly mixed bag of responses, as you always get at these things.
“Some people recognise the need for housing but others are concerned over things like the infrastructure – doctors, dentists, that sort of thing.
“We also have a case study on display which outlines how we always try to employ local people during the construction.”
The development is estimated to generate 900 jobs with Torridge to gain £3.5million and Devon County Council £1million over six years through the government’s new housing scheme.
The consultation will run until 7.30pm tonight (Thurs) at Atlantic Village.
What do you think of the plans? Comment below, tweet us @northdevon24 or email reporter Sarah Howells on firstname.lastname@example.org.