Bideford town councillors discuss whether to try to take on East-the-Water site as they question if revised plans will be submitted by developer.

Brunswick Wharf site in BidefordBrunswick Wharf site in Bideford

Bideford town councillors have called delays to the Brunswick Wharf site ‘disgraceful’ as they discussed trying to take on the land themselves.

At a meeting on Thursday, Councillor David Brenton asked members to consider making an offer to purchase the wharves site for £1 from Torridge District Council.

The site was granted planning permission for a major retail and residential development in 2014, but no work has yet been carried out.

Cllr Brenton said: “We are no further forward today than in 2006. It’s disgraceful. How much longer is it going to go on?

“We could get a contractor out to clear the land and make it look really tidy.

“Torridge has had its chance and I think we should make the move now and take the initiative.”

One point of discussion was the worry that should the town council try to take on the site, it could become responsible for the sea wall repairs – set to cost around £1million.

Councillor Mervyn Langmead said: “Even if we do lease it instead of buying it, we haven’t got the money to do anything with it other than leave it as it is.”

In March, the Gazette revealed developer Simon Maunder of Oceanside Developments was planning to submit a new planning application to alter the residential aspect.

Cllr Langmead added: “We asked what the Dickens is going on, and we still haven’t received an application.

“If he doesn’t [submit an application] – and there’s a time factor involved in this – then the default takes place and it will go back on to the open market for tendering by whoever.”

The Gazette contacted Mr Maunder after the meeting, who said: “I have recently met with Torridge to discuss the revised application, which is about to be submitted.

“Paul Jury from Notts Contractors intends to start on site as soon as we have the go-ahead.”

Councillors agreed to defer any decision to request taking on the site from Torridge until its next meeting in six weeks’ time.