Council vote ‘no’ to marina
More than 150 people attended the special meeting held by Northam Town Council to discuss the Torridge marina plans.
Cheers and applause emanated from the council chamber as Northam Town Council voted to recommend refusal of the Torridge marina plans.
More than 150 residents crowded into the special meeting held by the council on Monday to air their concerns on the proposal for the Knapp House site.
Among concerns of traffic, false promises of jobs, few homes for local people and a marina that would not function properly, the overriding message from those attending was clear: ‘we don’t want it.’
Cllr Barry Edwards said: “I am reliably informed that Torridge [District Council] have asked for an independent survey on the viability of the marina because they have doubts.
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“Anybody that uses that marina, I hope to God that they are a good sailor, because that is the second most dangerous bar in the country. I am proposing that we will object to this most strongly.”
Cllr Lee Mason seconded the motion, and said: “They don’t seem to take too much notice of us at Torridge and it is about time they did.”
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But despite the overriding negativity towards the marina and the council’s unanimous vote to oppose the plans, land owner at Knapp House, Ashley Clements, remained positive.
Mr Clements said: “We already have two firms interested; one that wants to run the marina and one that wants to run the care home.
“They said in the meeting that the 38 affordable houses being proposed won’t be built on site, but they will; it’s in the plans.
“People are worried that the marina won’t be built first, but it will. It has to be; it’s part of the 106 agreement and we are happy with that.
“It’s easy to get together a gaggle of people who are unhappy, but it’s very difficult to be brave and stand up and say, ‘yes, I actually want this’, and that is why there is so much negativity here.”
If successful, the plans will see the development of a 250 berth marina, 295 new homes, a residential care home and specialist dementia unit and a food store.