Council buys Ilfracombe bus station site

Ilfracombe Town Council has bought the former Ilfracombe bus station site at the harbour.

Ilfracombe Town Council has bought the former Ilfracombe bus station site at the harbour. - Credit: Archant

Notorious ‘grot spot’ bought for £750,000 as Ilfracombe Town Council celebrates taking on ‘valuable asset’ for the town.

ILFRACOMBE Town Council has bought the town’s old bus station site for £750,000.

The news was announced late this afternoon (Tuesday) and had been anticipated, following weeks of negotiation for the Ropery Road site.

The council has borrowed £1million from the Public Works Loan Board for the acquisition, which also allows for demolition and site development.

It has said initially it plans to use the site for car parking, subject to planning permission, but hopes in due course to create a ‘master plan’ for the site and will consult residents to find out how they would like to see it developed.

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“This is a really exciting day for Ilfracombe,” said the Mayor, Councillor Lynda Courtnadge.

“We’ve taken another major step towards achieving the first objective in our 10 year Strategic Plan: ‘Assume Management of our Town’.

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“Now the people of Ilfracombe, and not a remote developer, will decide on the long-term future of this strategically valuable site. This is a real cause for celebration.”

The Bus Station Working Group of the council and One Ilfracombe, says it has developed a robust business plan demonstrating that income will cover the cost of the loan repayments and will not lead to additional increase in council tax.

The derelict site had become notorious as a ‘grot spot’ and unused for several years following numerous attempts by former owner Omnium Ilfracombe Limited to build apartments and commercial units there.

The plans were revised several times but proved deeply unpopular, with a government planning inspector finally dismissing them at appeal for being over-intensive.

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