Plans for Northam marina development at Knapp House refused
A planning application for a marina development in Northam, one of the biggest to ever face Torridge District Council, was this morning refused by members of the council’s plans committee.
Dozens of people gathered at Bideford Town Hall this morning to hear the decision on the controversial application for the site at Knapp House, off Churchill Way in Northam.
Torridge District Council's planning committee followed the recommendation from the planning officer dealing with the application and refused it with a majority of five votes to four.
There was a round of applause and cheers in the public gallery as the decision was announced.
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The decision followed a deferral of the decision from the last plans committee in January when councillors wanted more time to look at documents which had been submitted at the last minute by developers LTPH Properties.
The development would have comprised of a new marina, hotel, 295 dwellings, a care home or dementia units, a medical centre, 80 holiday dwellings, play areas, retail units, community centre, a food store, and new primary school.
The people in the public gallery people also spoke against the application including town, district and county councillors.
The main areas addressed by the objectors included concerns over the viability of the project, the actual number of jobs the development would create and the detriment effects the development would have to the green space site.
Objector John pennington, from Babcock Marine, said Appledore shipyard has confirmed work for years to come.
He said: "We are one of the biggest shipbuilders in the UK and the biggest employer in the area."
He urged councillors to refuse the application to ensure long term employment prospects in the area.
Paul Heavingham, from the developers, said: "this development is viable, it will not be a white elephant, it is not in a green belt.
"The noise from the site can be mitigated and we will work with Babcock."
Prior to the decision being made over 700 comments had been left on Torridge District Council’s website with the majority of those being objections.
It is not known whether the developers will appeal the decision at this stage.