Following a number of high profile business openings, town now primed for new housing developments

Next year could see an influx of planning applications for new housing in and around Bideford, says the town's mayor.

It's been a good year for job seekers with Aldi, Lidl, Premier Inn and Starbucks all opening, creating more than 100 roles between them.

But Bideford mayor David Howell said he believes new housing developments will take more of the spotlight next year.

He said: "There are 17,000 new houses planned for northern Devon, and the majority of those are in and around Bideford.

The site of the proposals for up to 550 new homes in the Clovelly Road Park development.The site of the proposals for up to 550 new homes in the Clovelly Road Park development.

"I think we're going to see massive developments over the next five-to-10 years.

"I think those applications will start to come in next year."

Cllr Howell said the town council was also being pro-active in trying to secure funds for Bideford from these developments.

"We want the money to be ring-fenced for Bideford, not to just vanish into a county-wide pot," said Cllr Howell.

"We are being a bit tougher to try and secure money from these big developments."

Cllr Howell said he felt 2016 had been a very positive year for the town, with national chains flocking to the region.

He said: "Bideford is growing. Atlantic Park is well under way and that is sure to grow.

"There is also the expansion of Atlantic Village if that goes ahead.

"It's been a very good year."

Do you think 2016 has been a good year for Bideford? Email your thoughts to newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk