Thursday, May 31, 2012
Public exhibition of proposed plans for Ilfracombe southern extension of 750 homes.
MAJOR plans to increase the size of Ilfracombe and help shape the town for the next two decades have gone on public display for the first time.
Proposals for the ‘southern extension’ of Ilfracombe include 750 new homes, a new primary school, medical and community centres plus local shops and employment facilities.
More than 300 people attended a public exhibition and consultation at the Landmark on Friday and Saturday, organised by North Devon Council and urban design firm David Lock Associates.
The company is acting on behalf of a consortium of landowners covering around 32 hectares of land near Killacleave, either side of the Old Barnstaple Road.
The landowners include celebrity artist Damien Hirst, understood to own some 40 per cent of the site, who it was revealed in February had plans for more than 500 ‘eco homes’ as part of the project.
Visitors to the exhibition were able to view the master plan for the whole site, which features a central ‘neighbourhood hub’ containing community, retail and employment buildings, next to a primary school plus sport field, play area and community gardens.
A mix of housing is proposed, including short rows of terraced houses, plus areas called ‘The Shields’, featuring clusters of houses around a shared garden area and ‘High Villas’, larger semi-detached homes with sea views.
The main road would run through the centre of the site, with traffic calming where appropriate. A connected network of streets, paths and cycle ways are proposed.
District and town councillor Mike Edmunds said this was ‘a very important site’ for Ilfracombe and most likely the final boundary of expansion south of the town.
“I think everybody has agreed that we need to increase the population of Ilfracombe to make it a far more viable town and the southern is the only way we can do that,” he said.
“The plan is an innovative one that fits in with the centre of Ilfracombe and does not destroy the character of the town.”
Will Cousins, director at David Lock Associates, said overall the response during the two day exhibition had been a positive one:
“Within a range of comments there was a lot of interest, enthusiasm and support,” he said.
“There were a lot of people who had seen the benefit of allowing Ilfracombe to grow and prosper and saw this as a good project.”
Mr Cousins said one of the issues raised was housing, with people asking how much of it would be affordable and in what form.
People can still view the proposals and have their say up until July 6 via www.davidlock.com/ilfracombe. The results of the consultation will be taken into account, together with a series of technical reports, before an outline planning application is submitted in the autumn.