Urges council to ‘act now before it’s too late’ to protect the historic port.

A LOCAL fisherman has spoken out against future developments on the East-the-Water wharves in Bideford.

Dan Garnett, known as ‘Dan the Fishman’, contacted the Gazette after reading last week how Bideford Town Council were fighting for a say in plans to develop the key regeneration site.

Mr Garnett, who sells fish at Bideford Farmer’s Market among other locations in North Devon, said the river front should be the town’s ‘ribbon of gold’.

He said: “Visitors to the town do come and talk to me and tell me they love the river but they want more to do.

“I feel it is about time we all got on with this project; if we don’t really have a good scheme with a visitors’ centre so much of this is going to be lost.

“I just don’t want houses and flats to appear there.”

In June the Gazette reported the wharf was used to store timber for the first time in half a century.

“Visitors loved seeing the port being used and so many local people also came out to see what was going on as well,” said Mr Garnett.

“This is a maritime town and visitors must be very disappointed when they pass the brown road-sign saying ‘Historic Maritime Port’ to find on arrival there is no obvious evidence of this ancient port.

“A modern working quay is all we have to show of this once major historic port.”

Mr Garnett urged the town council to pursue its promises to stand up for the people of Bideford.

He added: “Don’t be overruled by Torridge District Council; act now before it is too late.”