Major hotelier backs Brunswick Wharf development
- Credit: Red Earth
Plans to redevelop the dilapidated wharves at East the Water have won the support of a major hotelier who says he was ‘dismayed’ when he saw local town councillors were against the scheme.
Richard Brend has come forward supporting the plans saying that Bideford needs this type of development close to the town centre: “We’ve been running The Royal since 1969, and trying to maintain custom adjacent to what looks like a derelict site is not an easy business.
“The people of Bideford deserve better than the bleak facades and wasteland on the East side of the bridge.
“On behalf of everyone connected with Brend Hotels we don’t just welcome these proposals but really hope they come to fruition. It will be a major and much needed regeneration project for Bideford.”
The proposed project to redevelop the Brunswick Wharf area on the East-the-Water side of Bideford’s Long Bridge continues through its planning application stages. Bideford Town Council’s planning committee recently decided not to back it due to ‘a lack of affordable homes’ and plans to remove a car park. The final decision, though, rests with Torridge District Council.
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Last summer, 2,800 people viewed the development's website specifically designed to encourage public engagement with the project, of which 266 took the time to complete the detailed feedback form. More than 85 per cent of the respondents welcomed the development, wanting to see it come to fruition.
Brend Hotels operate The Royal Hotel which is Grade I listed and The Bridge Riverside Eatery on the East-the-Water side of the Long bridge. Richard Brend said it was the overall regeneration of the area that ought to have top priority at planning stage, he said: “This development would be a great addition to the area, and undoubtedly attract more visitors. Our message is crystal clear. Bideford needs this. It would prompt further regeneration, attract more business, and most certainly improve the landscape view of the town as a whole.”
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The development features apartments, design studios, retail and eateries, including 85 new apartments, a restaurant, five design studios with potential for live/work, a café, eight boutique retail units, a public square and a riverside walk. 103 private parking and 45 public parking spaces are planned for, along with 133 private 40 public cycle stands.
On behalf of developer Red Earth Simon Friend said: “I am convinced that improving the area will help businesses locally, not just in East-the-Water but the whole town. I’m excited by the project and so too are the overwhelming majority of local people.”
Decisions should be made on planning this coming spring, and if the proposals do get the go ahead, work can start later in the year, Red Earth plan completion for 2025. For further details on the proposals see www.brunswickwharf.co.uk.