Residents’ concern over marina plans

Joseph Bulmer

Residents of Appledore and Northam have been expressing concerns over the Torridge Marina proposals

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

Although there has been a mixed response, concerns over traffic and the amount of housing involved in the development are the main worries from residents.

Gareth Cross, a Northam resident, is concerned that the marina proposal will ruin the area’s ‘outstanding natural beauty’ and that many of the houses will end up vacant.

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.”

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

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

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.”

Developer Len Tanner explained the proposal outlined plans to build 295 properties, which was a downscale from the 450-property plans submitted in 2010.

The original plans for the marina were withdrawn in 2010 after receiving over 350 complaints from the public, but the developers claim these new plans have addressed what people wanted.

The proposal also highlighted the developers’ promise 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. I believe it is more than likely to be mostly low paid jobs, which is not what the area needs. 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.