Major housing development brings hope for charity

A planning application for a residential development in Bideford will include land set aside for a community centre.

PLANS for hundreds of new homes will bring a North Devon charity one step closer to building its dream community centre.

Redrow Homes submitted a planning application last week to Torridge District Council to build 232 homes on land off Abbotsham Road and opposite the entrance to the Londonderry estate in Bideford. It will be named College Green.

The proposed plan includes land set aside for The Bridge Centre, a visionary community facility which will be built by the charity, Wings Southwest.

A detailed planning application for the centre, which will include a theatre, church, bistro and gym among other facilities, will be submitted in due course by the charity.

Paul Bowser, chief executive officer and co-founder of Wings, said: “Having spent more than three years developing the idea of a youth, sports, enterprise and community centre we are delighted that Redrow Homes has been incredibly supportive in integrating this vision into its housing proposal.”

The proposed centre, in which is hoped to house top sports facilities, will have a strong focus on creating opportunities and training for young people. It has received a lot of support of a local and national level.

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Mr Bowser said: “We are grateful to the hundreds of children, young people and local residents, churches and church leaders, youth and sports organisations, societies, businesses, Bideford College staff, students and governors, Kingsley School, MPs and town, district and county councillors and officers for their support.”

Sydney Opera House designers Arup, One Hyde Park planners DP9, top legal company Pinsent Mason and other key organisations including local architects RGP and London Olympic Handball Centre architects MAKE have all donated more than �600,000 of work between them to the centre.

Ben Leather, senior land manager at Redrow Homes, said: “We are proud to be bringing forward a plan for 232 new homes, a 59 unit Extra-Care Home, and The Bridge Centre.

“We will continue to work closely with the local community, Bideford Town Council and Torridge District Council to deliver a sustainable development.”

The plans will also include an area of green space which will be open to the public.

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