Residents express concern over Torridge Marina proposal

Residents have been expressing their concern on the new proposal for Torridge Marina

RESIDENTS have been expressing their views on the new proposal for Torridge Marina, announced last week.

Although there has been a mixed response, residents have displayed a number of concerns over the project.

Gareth Cross, a Northam resident, is concerned that the marina proposal will ruin the area’s ‘outstanding natural beauty.’

He said: “Let us hope that the planners remain true to their previous comments and recommendations and that the local residents can keep the concrete mixers at bay once again.”

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“North Devon is a successful tourist destination due its outstanding natural beauty, not due to a heavily built up riverbank.”

But Cllr David Howell, from Bideford, believes that the marina will bring prosperity to the area and should be welcomed.

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He said: “I think it’s a fact of life that things change. We used to have a thriving port in Bideford, but things change and you have to adjust to them. Anything that brings more people to the area must be good.”

Planning consultant Maria Bailey outlined that creating affordable housing was an important part of the proposal.

She also addressed people’s concerns that the main focus was building the housing, and emphasised: “The sole focus of this project is the marina, and the marina has to be built first.”

Mrs Bailey also explained public concern that the marina would not contain water for the majority of the time due to tides were not true.

She said: “I think one of the downfalls of the previous plan was that we did not explain this enough. The marina is designed so that the boats will always sit in water, although larger boats may have to use a dredge channel to get in and out of the marina twice a day due to the tides.”

The developers also promised to deliver a minimum of 850 jobs, including highly skilled and well paid employment.

Jackie Avery, chairman of the Appledore Residents’ Association, said: “I struggle to see how they are going to create 850 jobs. We need to question the developers on how they are going to fulfil these promises.”

Public consultations will be held on the proposals on January 20th at Northam Community Hall from 2pm-8pm, and on January 21st at the Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, from 9am-11am.

A poll run on the Gazette website showed that 58% of readers thought the marina was a bad idea, but 33% were in support of the marina plans

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