A Totnes district councillor has hit out at plans for the major new development at Baltic Wharf.

Cllr John Burch said: “Having seen the development plans I question the merit of its proposals.

“I believe [developer] Acorn’s plans will result in a substantial number of overpriced houses that local people do not want and cannot afford, whilst also reducing the boatyard to an unacceptable size and compromising its future viability.

“The planning application submitted by Acorn makes no proper provision for affordable housing. The South Hams District Council Local Development Plan requires schemes such as this to have a minimum of 30 per cent affordable housing.

‘Acorn fails in this respect.

“What’s more, Acorn’s scheme doubles up on the numbers provided for in the Local Development Plan (95 dwellings) on top of failing to provide proper provision for affordable housing.”

Exeter developer Acorn Properties has submitted a planning application for a major development at Baltic Wharf in Totnes consisting of 194 dwellings, 55 bed care home, 12 commercial buildings and a reduced boatyard.

Cllr Burch added: “We have a housing crisis in South Hams.

“We have young working families in desperate need of quality homes that they can afford.

“We do not need more of the overpriced developments that have shot up in our towns and villages.

“Acorn’s scheme appears to ignore our housing crisis.

“This is not acceptable and is one of several reasons why I believe the application should be refused.

Cllr Burch also cites the volume of additional traffic that he believes will be generated by the proposed scheme.

The application states that 324 car parking spaces will be provided for the use of residents and businesses.

Cllr Burch believes: “The increased volume of traffic will have an adverse impact on the air quality in the adjoining areas of the town as well add to the current congestion.

“There is an alternative. I, along with other councillors, would like to see a Centre of Marine Excellence and Skill built that would continue the town’s long association with the sea and create the potential for hundreds of highly skilled and well paid jobs for the area.

Cllr Birch is supported by John McKay along with Totnes Town Councillor Georgina Allen who believe that this is not what the town of Totnes, the District or the Region, wants or needs, and serious consideration should be given to an alternative future for this site that builds on the current unique facilities at Baltic Wharf to create a Centre of Marine Excellence and Skill that would continue the town’s long association with the sea, and create the potential for hundreds of highly skilled and well paid jobs for the area.

On November 7 2022 Totnes Town Council voted to support their proposals.

They launched a campaign to secure this alternative future for the Baltic Wharf boatyard and invite you to join them by having your say link.

To find out more you can visit: www.balticwharf.org.uk/