Concern over new riverside plans

By Ginny Ware   |   Totnes Reporter   |
Wednesday 1st December 2021 7:00 am
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Residents are being given their say on updated plans for the development of a prime Totnes site alongside the banks of the picturesque River Dart.

Owners TQ9 Partnership and developers Acorn Property are staging an online consultation about revised plans for Baltic Wharf which runs until Tuesday December 14.

Ed Lewis, Acorn’s regional director, says the final stages of the redevelopment will open the site for “public use and benefit the local community.”

But Totnes district councillor, John Birch, hailed the new proposals “unacceptable” and insists the redevelopment needs a “fundamental re-think.”

The original scheme gained outline planning consent in 2010 and the first phase of 95 new homes was completed by Bloor Homes in 2014.

Acorn and the TQ9 Partnership says they are “retaining key aspects and principles of the current plans, while responding to environmental and other changes since the scheme was initially considered 15 years ago.”

Ed Lewis said: “Baltic Wharf is ideally located for residents and businesses to enjoy the many things that Totnes has to offer. 

“These final stages of the redevelopment will open the site for public use and benefit the local community.

“This initial consultation will help us to begin work with local residents, businesses, stakeholders and other partners to ensure that the updated plans can deliver a vibrant scheme which meets the local communities’ needs, as well as one that embraces Acorn’s environmentally focused approach to development.”

Steve Mittler, TQ9 Partnership LLP, said: “It is now time to complete this scheme with deliverable proposals and we do wish to hear from the community on the proposed responses to the changes that have impacted on the site over the last 10-15 years.”

Cllr Birch criticised the revised plans on several fronts including lack of employment space, too many houses, loss of existing boatyard space and an unsympathetic design.

Cllr Birch said: “The local plan requirement is for 3,300 sq m of employment floor space. The development proposal is for substantially less.

“The first phase of housing has been completed and has delivered 95 dwellings, thus leaving 95 further dwellings to be provided in accordance with the local plan. “Acorn/TQ9’s proposal is for an additional 250 dwellings. This breaches the local plan requirement and is not acceptable.

“The current outline permission includes ‘up to 11,000 sq m of boat storage.’

“The proposal is for a reduced boatyard of 8,730 sq m.

“This is a significant reduction is size from that currently on site and threatens the viability of the boatyard.

“The scheme proposed, in terms of layout and design, gives rise to serious concerns.

“The layout is in essence three lines of residential accommodation running parallel to the river.

“The tallest blocks are those fronting the river. The height of these will dominate the riverscape.

“The design pays little regard to the historic context of the site, to its setting, to the wider town, and lacks sympathy with its prominent riverside setting.

“Acorn/TQ9’s plans for the redevelopment of Baltic Wharf need a fundamental re-think. What is currently being proposed is unacceptable".

To view the proposals and leave feedback visit www.balticwharftotnes.com by Tuesday December 14.

Phone Acorn on 020 8341 2222 to arrange alternative means by which materials can be viewed and feedback given.

A second consultation is due to be held next spring before the plans are submitted to South Hams Council for consideration.

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