Plans for ‘marina village’ refused in closely tied vote

07:30 13 February 2013

People queued around the corner to get into the planning meeting at Bideford Town Hall this morning.

People queued around the corner to get into the planning meeting at Bideford Town Hall this morning.


It is not yet known if developers will appeal the decision by Torridge District Council.

CHEERS erupted from members of the public on Thursday morning as councillors voted to refuse an application for a 250-berth ‘marina village’ at Knapp House.

Five of the nine members of Torridge District Council’s planning committee voted to go with the recommendation made by planning officers to refuse the application.

The plans submitted by LTPH Properties included 295 new houses (38 of which would be affordable), 80 holiday homes and a 90-bed care home.

A site allocated for a primary school, retail units, a 40-bed hotel and a doctors’ surgery were also included in the plans.

Despite concerns raised about the site being in a coastal protection area, an increase in traffic, provision of low paid, seasonal jobs and the profitability of the marina, four councillors voted in favour of the application.

The main concern for most present at the meeting was that building houses next to Appledore shipyard, run by Babcock Marine, could create problems due to noise levels.

Town and district councillors speaking at the meeting were worried it could also stop any possible expansion of the shipyard in the future, which employs 350 people and 50 sub-contractors at present.

Lewis Andrews, planning executive for the council, said officers had balanced the issues surrounding the application but were ‘conclusive’ in recommending refusal.

Councillor Margaret Brown moved to refuse the application, and said: “I do think it detracts from the area, and there’s a threat to the shipyard and to future jobs.

“We need to protect our jobs; I believe any economic benefit that could be accrued from this development wouldn’t outweigh any adverse impacts on this sensitive area.”

But Councillor Kathy Murdoch said she thought if the marina worked, it could be ‘absolutely brilliant’ for the region and could bring in future investment.

Councillor Chris Leather, who also voted in favour of the marina plans, was booed by the crowd when he said the site was ‘of no major ecological value’ to him personally.

He said: “If we want the marina and feel it would be an asset, to make it viable we have got to put other things in there to pay for it.

“I’d like to see another hotel; we’re very short of hotels in the area and I think to make Knapp House into a 40-bed hotel is a brilliant scheme.”

Developer Paul Hevingham said the marina would provide hundreds of jobs and LTPH would work with the council to negotiate terms to protect the shipyard.

He said: “This development will create 305 new jobs in Torridge and 120 construction jobs over a period of at least six years; that’s one permanent job for every new house built.

“The noise generated by Babcock can be mitigated on this site and we will work together with them.”

But Councillor David Brenton, ward member for Bideford South, was sceptical of the developers’ promises.

“This deal has been sweetened so many times it’s the size of a gobstopper,” he said.

“That kind of environment; you can’t just recreate it.

“I’ll be in my wicker coffin and they’ll still be trying to build on it, but we have a duty for our children and grandchildren to protect what is over there.”

After hearing arguments on both sides Councillors Margaret Brown, Harold Martin, Howard Ratledge, David Lausen and Rosemary Lock voted in favour of refusing the development.

Councillors Peter Watson, Mervyn Langmead, Kathy Murdoch and Chris Leather voted against the refusal.

Speaking after the meeting, Northam town councillor Peter Hames who has campaigned against the development from the offset said it was a close call.

The developers were unavailable for comment and it is not yet known if they will be appealing the decision.

Related articles


Other News Stories

The World of Country Life ended its 2015 season at the weekend with their popular Minion's show. Ref exe 5437-45-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A popular Exmouth tourist attraction rounded off a record-breaking year with a visit from The Minions.

Read more
Singer Ella Eyre is supporting the Dogs Trust campaign this Christmas

Dogs Trust reveals the shocking, lazy and farcical excuses used by people dumping their pets in the last 12 months

Read more
The Exmouth Cares charity shop on Staples Mews which supports the Alzheimer's Society expanded in size on Saturday opening a shop next door catering mainly for men. Pictured with Lesley and David Moore who run the shops are two of their volunteers Pam Good and Barbara Ainsworth. The shop behind Mona Island on Exeter Road would welcome any donated items to help expand its stock. Ref exe 6883-47-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A Good Samaritan touched by the plight of people suffering with Alzheimer’s disease has spoken about why she set up the Exmouth Cares charity shop.

Read more
Fancy dress bathers at last year's Christmas Day swim in Charmouth

Village landlords to provide some warming refreshment at Charmouth’s annual swim.

Read more
Bike Shed store manager Paul Belton and Smuggler organiser Marcus Chapman present the cheque to Emma Lowe of North Devon Hospice. Picture: Leo Cooper

Smuggler sportive organisers announce dates for next year’s pedal-pounding ride

Read more
Volunteer Harry Griffin with the owner of The Point Richard White.

The Point Bar and Grill at Exmouth Marina put on a three-course meal to raise funds for the RNLI crew volunteers.

Read more
Nick Stiling with the keys to The Britannia Inn in Knowle. Ref exb 7020-48-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

A community village pub is set to reopen its doors - after a Budleigh Salterton publican stepped in and bought it.

Read more
Police will be testing motorists for drink driving over Christmas

Officers will be on patrol throughout December

Read more
The Calais Soup Kitchen Mission will help refugees over Christmas

Good Samaritans from Exmouth will miss Christmas with their families to help feed refugees who have fled war-torn countries.

Read more
Traffic jam

Traffic is moving slowly through Barnstaple town centre this morning (Tuesday) following a crash at the TA centre roundabout between Eastern Avenue and Alexandra Road.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 12°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Place a family notice

Family Notices 24

Find a job in Devon

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

FFind planning applications