Hotel restriction in Westward Ho! will not be lifted
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A covenant restricting development on the former village square site in Westward Ho! to a hotel will not be lifted.
Back in 2014, Torridge District Council had sold the site to Westward Living, with a clause in the contract that meant the land could only be used to build a hotel, as well as commercial use on the ground floor.
But Westward Living’s Alan Smith had asked for it to be lifted, previously saying that unless the size of the hotel could be increased, it was not viable for one to be built, and unless the covenant is removed, the site is ‘valueless’.
Councillors had previously rejected a set fee of £120,000 to remove the covenant that restricted development, and Monday’s full council meeting saw them once again vote to keep the covenant in place.
They voted to reject an alternative recommendation to apply a new covenant that would restrict development to any form of commercial use, rather than just for a hotel, and stuck with a proposal to continue with the existing arrangement and restrictions.
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Leader of the council, councillor Ken James, said that he was happy to propose the recommendation of the community and resources committee that the restrictive covenant should not be removed.
Councillors voted by 22 votes to four, with two abstentions, in favour of that recommendation.
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Mr Smith, in public speaking time ahead of the discussion, criticised the ‘undemocratic’ procedures that meant he was unable to answer any queries that councillors may have, and added: “I don’t care which way you vote so carry on.”