Positive response to Atlantic Park development

More than 500 people turned out in one day to view plans for a new development in Bideford.

HUNDREDS of people turned out in Bideford last week to scrutinise plans for the proposed Atlantic Park development.

Proposals for a Premier Inn Hotel, Brewers Fair restaurant and McDonald’s restaurant and drive-thru were met with a largely positive response from residents.

Planning consultant Maria Bailey said: “More than 500 people attended the first exhibition on Thursday in Atlantic Village and a further 80 on the Friday at Burton Art Gallery.

“There was an overwhelming support for the proposals with more than 80 per cent of comment forms in support.”

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One of the key concerns raised by residents was the location of the development on the outskirts of the town.

But representatives at the consultation said they were keen to drive visitors into the town centre.

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“There are no other areas around Bideford for a development of this size,” said Alison Lindsey, head of architecture for Whitbread.

“We plan to have information boards and leaflets in the hotel to show people what the area and the town centre has to offer and drive people into Bideford.”

Both firms were keen to emphasise the employment opportunities the new development would bring.

A McDonald’s spokesman said: “Initially the facility will create around 60 jobs, which will include apprenticeships and a chance to progress through the company.”

The plans illustrated the surrounding woodland would be maintained as developers worked closely with Natural England.

Ms Lindsey added: “There are two types of woodland in this area; the commercial woodland which is ready to be harvested, and the traditional, broad-leaf woodland which we will retain and enhance.”

Adam Ely, 27, of Bideford, visited the exhibition, and said: “It’s so close to the A39; it is a link to the South West and will encourage people in, instead of them driving straight past.”

Lara Farley, 29, of Clovelly, said: “We would get more traffic in the town and in Atlantic Village if people are coming here on holiday or for business.”

The developers collected feedback from the consultations and are expected to submit planning applications in July.

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