Northam Marine Project
Northam Marina – what’s going on! If ever a devil was born, without a pair of horns, it was you Marina! Something like that! This kind of “activity” is going on all over the United Kingdom so this is an example of what we are experiencing in North Devon. Be warned!
It is not surprising that we have stirred up a hornet’s nest here! This message is left here for your conscious and convictions to decide whatever you think is best. Funny enough I am not usually so concerned about such issues but the Northam Marina project struck a nerve with me. I have never felt so passionate about such a project like this. I have tried to write a fair report based on the facts and figures taken from many sources. I am sorry for any errors or omissions but all the following have been said and/or reported on. “Warts and all!”
All representations for the Appeal Hearing must be received by 3rd November 2014. For further details see below.
On 23rd September 2014 a letter was sent to a large number of residents in the Bideford area, extract as follows:- “Once again, the developers have lodged an appeal against the refusal of planning permission by Torridge District Council on the following:- Mixed use development comprising marina, hotel, medical centre, food store, community hall, Community hall, retail units/cafe, care home/dementia unit, assisted living units, up to 300 dwellings (including 20 local needs affordable) 80 holiday dwellings, play areas, open space, new access and ancillary infrastructure – AFFECTING A PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY Location – Knapp House Activity Centre, Churchill Way, Northam, Bideford.
At the time, there did not seem to be any major response to this news in the local newspapers or other sources. It appears that the first refererence was made in the website of a local newspaper on Saturday 4th October.
Read more by clicking the following link : http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/Controversial-Northam-marina-development-set/story-23043520-detail/story.html#ixzz3F9w7xPsx
At the last Public Hearing when the application was refused it was stated that “Of the 1,060 responses, just 13 people said they supported the development. However, LTPH Properties said the company had received more than 2,000 letters in support of the development. The Journal contacted LTPH Properties but the company did not wish to comment.” Reference had been made to the developers undertaking a straw poll around the streets of Bideford some time ago. Their question was something like: “With the Northam Marina attracting so many jobs to the area would you be in favour of it going ahead?” There were some 500 people in favour of it and that is partly where the reported support came from. This may only be a rumour but who knows?
Read more about the last time by clicking the following link: http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/Council-refuses-Northam-marina-plans/story-20828120-detail/story.html#ixzz3HSt9n8XV This was posted on 19th March 2014.
IT WILL be a great opportunity for the developers and landowners alike to make a fortune to the detriment of hundreds of residents and businesses in and around Appledore.
A beautiful part of the country will be ruined by years of building and creating chaos on the only bit of countryside which separates Bideford from Appledore!
The proposed Brunswick Wharf Marina would possibly affect the Northam Marina.
It may create new jobs but many will be part time but then you will lose hundreds of jobs when the Appledore Shipyard closes down because of noise complaints by local residents.
Many visitors will be discouraged from coming to the Appledore/Bideford region owing to the irreversible loss of the traditional way of life, peace and tranquillity.
As just stated over a thousand people said “NO” the last time that the developers put forward their plans! They are just ordinary residents and small business owners that wish to retain the charm and personality of their area not only for their benefit but for the tens of thousands of visitors who come here every year and for future generations.
No, it can’t be right for the hundred or two wealthy people to benefit from this development who may wish to buy a second holiday home here and making it even more difficult for young people to set up home.
There will be little access to Appledore down Churchill Way – extra 1000 vehicle vehicles per day at least. All this could be addressed with all sorts of promises but knowing the way many such schemes work these days the only way forward would be to address the aftermath of the chaos it would create!
The tidal system of the river – the logistics of building a marina could have far reaching and dangerous effects on many aspects of shipping, wildlife and local fishing and no doubt the interests of the Instow Yacht Club could be badly affected.
The costs of the frequency of dredging to keep the proposed Knapp Marina operable have been underestimated in the application. Would this cost fall on Torridge District Council? What about the cost of excavating the proposed Knapp Marina site and cost of removal of soil? And who knows the cost implications of the rapid silting of the Torridge River after heavy rainfall?
Shouldn’t the site be left to act as a flood plain, especially in light of predicted more severe rainfall in the future? Could a development push flooding on to Appledore downstream?
It is unclear in the application how the coastal footpath would stay open during construction and operation. (NB it is illegal to block a footpath). The effect on wildlife of the development – the salt marsh is a Priority Habitat which would be destroyed and bats, badgers, overwintering birds and other protected species would be severely affected.
In 2012, The National Trust was concerned over the likely impact of the development on the character and appearance of the remaining area of undeveloped coast between Appledore and Northam. There is such tremendous support for the NO CAMPAIGN that a local group under Rule 6 has been/ about to be, formed with the Planning Inspectorate and to engage a prominent ecologist to do a report for due submission.
All representations for the Appeal Hearing must be received by 3rd November 2014.
For comments, go to the Planning Portal at www.planningportal.gov.uk/pcs or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org OR post three copies to: The Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN (recorded delivery?)
Is it the Final Countdown!! – See the message at the end of the blog – I hope it is a bit of fun!”
Points raised in the past
1) Appledore Shipyard – Established shipyard: insufficient evidence submitted that it would not be detrimental to the local residential area affected by the noise, disturbance and odours thereby by creating a potential statutory nuisance.
2) Proposed dwellings would be adversely affected by this nearby commercial activity givin the proxiimity of the dwellings to the established commercial uses. also give a restrictive effect on the future development and operations.
3) Projected low demand for such facilities coupled with the narrow tidal “window” for accessed / existingthe marinawill be likely to adversely affect its viability.
4) A significant negative impact on wintering birds has been identified. A significant negative impact on bats, caused by the loss of roosts during construction, has been identified as well as a significant negative impact on bats commuting and foraging. The new buildings will not provide replacement roost structures. Replacement and foraging corridors are unlikely to be used because of lighting issues. Overall, significant negative impact is expected on bats both during construction and operation of the proposed development. The proposed development is likely to cause significant negative impacts on protected species and habitats.
5) The rapid silting of the Torridge after heavy rainfall e.g. the Shipyard experience regarding the channel used for launching ships
6) The non-viability of the Knapp Marina – who’d use it? Also, effect of noise from speedboats from the Marina on estuary wildlife and people.
7) The recent Trinity House caution to boat owners that there has been a significant reduction in depths in the approaches to the Bideford Bar, resulting in a new bank which dries at low water. The advice is ‘extreme caution’ when navigating in this area.
8) Reference to the flooding of the Marina site last winter. Should a development be built there? Shouldn’t the site be left to act as a flood plain, especially in light of predicted more severe rainfall in the future? Could a development push flooding on to Appledore downstream?
9) Unclear in the application how the coastal footpath would stay open during construction and operation.(NB it is illegal to block a footpath).
10) The applicants’ traffic figures – are they accurate? Volunteers to do a survey?
11) There is also the issue of the effect on wildlife of the development. The saltmarsh is a Priority Habitat which would be destroyed and bats, badgers, overwintering birds and other protected species would be severely affected. The mitigation measures proposed would result in a significant net reduction in biodoversity, contrary to the requirements of the National Planning Framework an other legislation. The ecological surveys are out of date or haven’t been done. Documents on Torridge’s website stated that plans were partly refused because it was considered to “represent unsustainable development in the open countryside”. The document also said the plans were considered to have an adverse affect on the rural location.
- “There was no reason not to refuse it. There was no major departure from the previous application.”
- lots of people had campaigned against the “unpopular” development.
- he felt there was hardly any difference in the latest application.
- “I see no reason for me personally, and the other members of …. plans committee, to change our minds on any decisions made before.”
- if yet another application was submitted then the town council would review the proposals.
- “We will review any new application to see if there are any differences and make a recommendation to Torridge District Council.”
A 1,000-signature petition was handed to Torridge District Council with just 13 signing in favour of the development. Various Comments
- It is so sad that in a so called civilised group there is a very small minority who think that by bullying their way through life they think they can influence and impress people! WRONG! In fact this practice only alienates so many people. Who liked bullies at school? One should never get personal.
- I truly believe in democracy and no doubt the British public will come to the right decision so long as true democracy rules.
- Funny enough I am not usually so concerned about such issues but with the Northam Marina project it struck a nerve with me. I have never felt so passionate about such a project like this.
- It was only the initial lack of news about this third public appeal that got me going! Sorry about that but I was not thinking about our generation so much as to future generations – will they thank us for what we are about to do?
- I will leave this message for your conscious and convictions to decide whatever you think is best.
Sundry Comments and replies
1) Arguement is based on the fact he moved here 6 years ago to retire and doesn’t want it spoilt, forget the benefits to businesses, people and the local economy for enerations to come!!
2) I reckon your a down shifting whinger with not in my back yard attitude……with no care of local employment & business, .Just a hunch…
3) With loads time on his hands…
4)Everyone is entitled to their opinions and their reasons.
5) Like to know more on Marina for & against as i can see both sides of argument …..Agree .. “bit harsh”
6) I look forward to wondering around a nice marina!!!!
7) I like walking there with the dog
8) Well …It’s just my opinion…so whats the problem then
9) Hes given his opinion Ive given mine..If its frank & to the point..Well that’s just how I am…take it of leave it…
10) its about time north devon got a marina about the last place in the country to get one lol
11) so do others, but those that arent fortunate to be able to retire to north devon and actually have to live and work need a little more than a dog walking field. The proposals will offer a fair bit of employment during the build and after. As for all the other arguments that the OP has based his against vote they are nothing more than his opinion but put across as fact
12) Can’t remember where i read it but seem to recall that there was concerns on how it was being built & enviroment ? Not totally sure & will now drive me nuts
13) Well we will see what will happen ..Im a great believer in what will be will be …
14) a little more diplomatic & less in your face would be nice
15) Affordable housing !! Jeez as if that ever happen ….i didnt say it was actually affordable lol, but a certain amount is being defined as affordable. Affordable to whom i’ll never know lol
16) Really …..Whos questioning me…Whos up tight..I made a comment..nothing more…you need to wind yer neck in. Par for course you having pop at me any how..Really
17) The first people to build here, the hotels, seafield house and so on – they were all incomers, remember every single house / building here is on what was farmland just 200 years ago. Much of it less than 50 years ago. Compared to Northam, Bideford and beyond this is a very new place! It’s still growing up – and those that do live here are VERY lucky!!!
18) of course the location is desirable which pushes house prices up but what good is it if only those of retirement age can afford to live there. The retired people will soon get fed up when no shop or services are open because there is no one below retirement age to operate them lol
19) …. up will you ..Didn’t say i didn’t like you …..I will say it so you can understand …You have a habit of saying things not quite nicely…but do you know what it’s boring …You dish it yet can’t take it
20) I can understand your concern about house prices going up but a lot of the new property being built now here in Westward Ho! is” Developers”……..the money goes to them not TDC.
21) Yes .. its the way he called … a down shifting whinger. Rather rude and not necessary to judge people on their opinions.
22) Personally I am all for development as long as it’s done right, it’s then down to choice! If people choose to buy, live, work here it’s there choice, if it means more work albeit part time, summer time it’s still work! If we were all Nimbys then we wouldn’t even have had the shipyard built or any further housing or new shops! We do live in a beautiful place but we must keep looking forward and not live in the past! We shouldn’t be objecting, we should be working with the developers to make sure it’s built to suit everybody’s needs and wants, to make sure the infrastructure is in place to cope with the demand etc!
23) This can’t be allowed to go ahead until the developers give the locals a better deal.
- road design particularly the Churchill junction.
- people think there will be job gains, there won’t be.
- the infrastructure is lacking no extra teachers doctors etc not good enough
- this will all be mainly part time summer season jobs,
- and there are absolutely no guarantees that the appledore shipyard won’t be forced to close..
- people also think they will be able to walk around the marina, you won’t it is private.
- Plus all the problems of dredging the river.
- and not no where near enough affordable homes if you can call them affordable certainly not to locals anyway, in fact I’m mystified because I think the amount of affordable homes being built is illegal. To me this is just a rich man’s second home playground with a lack of facilities for local people.
- it doesn’t mean more work at all. Appledore shipyard could well close.and currently there’s nothing planned for locals to use.
- Id like to see more facilities for locals to be able to use the front and quay is well as the owners of the marina, at the moment it will be mostly private.
- The appledore rowers might like to use it for example but at the moment there’s no facilities included for this.
there are currently no benefits at all on offer for locals if anything as it is now it’s taking facility’s away., or example the doctors surgery promised isn’t a full time surgery but a satalite surgery from northam meaning a doctor will be taken away from the northam surgery. Tthere’s no extra doctors being promised no extra school teachers or classrooms.in other words no extra infrastructure at all.
The following Facebook page. It is worthwhile looking at:-https://www.facebook.com/NOtoKnappHouseDevelopment Say NO to Knapp House Development
- Have you investigated about the amount of affordable homes on offer being illegal. I’m mystified as to why no one has bought this up with the developers.
- People seem to commenting on this subject without even looking at the plans or thinking about it properly.for instance theres 280 homes being built here that means potentially 280 maybe plus children. Where are they all gonna go to school? can you tell me!!!?
- In situations like this we need expert advice, enironmentalist and a barrister all of which were brought up at the Appledore Library meeting.
- The non-viability of the Knapp Marina – who’d use it? Also, effect of noise from speedboats from the Marina on estuary wildlife and people.
- The recent Trinity House caution to boat owners that there has been a significant reduction in depths in the approaches to the Bideford Bar, resulting in a new bank which dries at low water. The advice is ‘extreme caution’ when navigating in this area.
- Reference to the flooding of the Marina site last winter. Should a development be built there? Shouldn’t the site be left to act as a flood plain, especially in light of predicted more severe rainfall in the future? Could a development push flooding on to Appledore downstream?
- Unclear in the application how the coastal footpath would stay open during construction and operation.(NB it is illegal to block a footpath).
- The applicants’ traffic figures – are they accurate? Volunteers to do a survey?
- There is also the issue of the effect on wildlife of the development. The saltmarsh is a Priority Habitat which would be destroyed and bats, badgers, overwintering birds and other protected species would be severely affected. The mitigation measures proposed would result in a significant net reduction in biodoversity, contrary to the requirements of the National Planning Framework an other legislation. The ecological surveys are out of date or haven’t been done.
- The scheme is not sustainable. It is located in a protected area, adjacent to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and lies outside designated future housing development sites. The local authority has identified, via public consultation, several sites located half a mile away from Knapp for future housing development and I request that the Planning Inspector takes this context into consideration. 11) When the Planning Inspector undertakes a site visit, s/he will see clearly why this area is considered an unspoilt area of countryside between the urban conurbations of Appledore and Northam. Paragraph 109 of the NPPF clearly states that the planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment. Torridge District Council’s ruling satisfies this guidance.
- Finally, para 118 of the NPPF states that ‘a proposed development on land within or outside a Site of Special Scientific Interest likely to have an adverse effect on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (either individually or in combination with other developments) should not normally be permitted. Where an adverse effect on the site’s notified special interest features is likely, an exception should only be made where the benefits of the development, at this site, clearly outweigh both the impacts that it is likely to have on the features of the site that make it of special scientific interest and any broader impacts on the national network of Sites of Special Scientific Interest.’
- The area in question is adjacent to a SSSI and there is nothing exceptional about this proposal. What has been proposed is nothing more than a massive housing estate that would damage the ecology of the area (particularly over-wintering birds), clog up the roads, impact on local residents’ quality of life, damage the local shipbuilding industry and leave the local taxpayer with the costs of maintaining an unviable ‘marina.’ Even the most sympathetic assessment would have to admit that the proposal would not address sufficiently the affordable housing crisis that the area suffers from.
- A significant negative impact on wintering birds has been identified.
- A significant negative impact on bats, caused by the loss of roosts during construction, has been identified as well as a significant negative impact on bats commuting and foraging. The new buildings will not provide replacement roost structures. Replacement and foraging corridors are unlikely to be used because of lighting issues. Overall, significant negative impact is expected on bats both during construction and operation of the proposed development.
- Temporary significant negative impact on the badger population has been identified.
- Mitigation measures are proposed in the form of a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) and in my opinion this plan should have been submitted with the application. The proposal is likely to cause significant impacts on habitats and protected species and planning permission should not be granted unless it can be proven that such impacts can be mitigated, reduced or avoided. 180 On page 89 it says that five additional bat surveys will be completed in 2010 but no additional information regarding these surveys has been submitted. There is a Wetland Bird survey in the Addendum to the ES (Volume 4), which concludes that ‘it is unlikely that there will be any significant negative impacts on the population of waterfowl using the Taw and Torridge Estuary SSSI’. It is recommended that monitoring should be undertaken in a five year period, during and after construction, and that such monitoring should be targeted towards high tide surveys during the late summer and early autumn (July – September). This means that wintering birds would be left out again. Wintering bird monitoring should be included.
- Volume 3: Technical Appendices The documents are all from 2009. Ecological records are constantly updated and if the ecological report relies on surveys from 2008 or 2009 they are out of date and new surveys are essential. The ecological surveys should have been made available here.
- Volume 4: Addendum to Environmental Statement The intertidal survey contained within this document was carried out in 2009 and does not appear to have been updated. The Maritime Archaeology and Palaeotopographic Assessment is also dated 2009.
- Conclusion The Environmental Statement does not provide the survey data, such information should be made available. The ES does provide any evidence that the negative impacts on protected species and/or habitats would be sufficiently mitigated as it is proposed that a ‘Construction Environmental Management Plan’ is submitted at a later date. Again, this information should have accompanied the application form. The ecological survey data is largely from 2008 and 2009 and therefore out of date and cannot be relied upon. Ecological surveys that are not more than one year old need to be submitted. There are gaps in the information, i.e. paragraph numbers that don’t exist, information that has been omitted but is referred to etc. The LVIA information is inadequate and does not follow the Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LI, IEMA, 2002). The importance of the estuary as SSSI has not been adequately addressed and likely impacts assessed. The proposed development is likely to cause significant negative impacts on protected species and habitats.
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Is it the Final Countdown!
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