Protesters rally against marina plans

Protesters gathered outside Knapp House today ahead of tomorrow's planning meeting.

Protesters gathered outside Knapp House today ahead of tomorrow's planning meeting. - Credit: Archant

Protests at Knapp House come ahead of tomorrow’s crunch planning meeting.

PROTESTERS have gathered outside Knapp House today (Wednesday) to rally against plans for a proposed ‘marina village’ ahead of a planning meeting tomorrow.

The planning application for a 250-berth marina, 295 new houses and 80 holiday homes in Northam is on the agenda for Torridge District Council’s planning committee meeting at Bideford Town Hall. The marina plans are listed to be debated at 9.30am.

As well as a marina and houses, the plans include a 40-room hotel, a restaurant providing up to 100 covers, a food store, a 90-bed care village, 106 independent living units, a doctors surgery and office space.

A one-form entry primary school was also added to the proposal in a revised plan submitted in September.

Among protesters making their feelings know to councillors taking part in a site visit this afternoon, was Appledore resident Jeremy Bell.

He said: “Not only is this the most repetitive but it is also the most ambitious proposal that Torridge District Council has ever had to consider.

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“There have been proposals for this site dating back to the 1980s and the main problem now is infrastructure, just as it was then.

“South West Water is unable to cope already; it would have to spend millions on a new sewerage plant there.

“The main road here is busy enough already, especially during the school run. There would be at least another 4,000 car movements a day.”

Ken Humphries said he thought it was ‘beyond the remit and capabilities’ of Torridge District Council to determine the application.

“It’s far too important an issue and should be called in and go straight to the secretary of state,” he said.

Northam Town Councillor Peter Hames said: “This is the only green space left between Appledore and Bideford where people can walk their dogs and enjoy the scenery.

“There are a number of coastal polices in place that are supposed to be protecting the site from development.

“It should not be developed and what they are proposing is breaking those policies.”

Jasmine Davis raised concerns about wildlife, as well as the effect of noise from shipyard on any new homes built, especially during the night shift

She added: “Appledore already has enough holiday homes already – whey do they want to build more here.”

Torridge District Council has received hundreds of letters of objection and more than 100 letters of support.

Both Instow Parish Council and Northam Town Council have recommended refusal of the application, and Westleigh Parish Council raised concerns over the plans.

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