Planners vote unanimously to approve car park proposals

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DISTRICT councillors have approved plans to demolish the old buildings at Ilfracombe bus station and turn the site into a temporary car park.

North Devon Council’s planning committee voted unanimously to approve the proposals today (Wednesday), which will see the old workshop buildings and the booking office demolished and the height of the perimeter walls reduced, before turning the site into a 95-space car park.

Ilfracombe Town Council bought the site in November for £750,000, and work should be completed by October 2018.

Unusually for a district council planning meeting, everyone who wanted to speak on the plans was in support of them.

Town and district Councillor Paul Crabb, who submitted the planning application, said: “This will make a huge improvement to a large proportion of Ilfracombe residents.”

Karen French, an Ilfracombe resident for more than 15 years, was equally complimentary of the proposals.

“Ilfracombe Town Council has championed localism with this site and responded to the cries of local residents by purchasing the site for the use of the town,” she said. “The town’s residents have high hopes that this will help to promote growth and compliment other ambitious projects in Ilfracombe.”

The work was initially recommended to be completed by February 2017, but Cllr Paul Yabsley suggested this be extended to October 2018 as it will take the town council longer to complete the work than it would a contractor.

“Some years ago we went on a site visit and it was pretty derelict,” said Cllr Jasmine Chesters. “For the Town Council to take this on and provide more parking I think is great.”

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