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TDC make preparations for "transforming" riverside regeneration development

Brunswick Boat Removal

Torridge District Council has started to clear the Brunswick and Clarence wharf site in Bideford in preparation for an exciting multi use development project designed to transform the Eastern bank of the Torridge in Bideford.

The first phase of the project has secured a preferred developer for the site, following a rigorous tender and selection process, with the proposal from Red Earth gaining approval by the Council in the Autumn of 2017.

The next phase has been to initiate the clearance of the site in order that delivery of the much needed development can progress as smoothly as possible including the stabilising of the sea wall. To achieve this the Council has been contacting the owners of the boats moored alongside the wharfs to discuss alternative, and in many cases, improved mooring arrangements at different nearby berths. Where possible a negotiated agreement has been amicably reached and some of the removals on Tuesday were with the owners consents but unfortunately in a few cases the boat owners did not take up the offer to renegotiate their moorings. The seaworthiness of some of these vessels was arguably beyond repair and as a last resort the Council has invoked Harbour regulations to begin the removal process. Some vessels may also require pumping out before they can be lifted but two boats were removed in the first phase of the operation.

Councillor Jane Whittaker (Leader of the Council and Chair of Bideford Harbour Board) said

"Bideford has waited a very long time for the regeneration of Brunswick Wharf and the investment in the site will be a real shot in the arm for the town and the wider economy. This Council is determined to deliver those benefits and so has been committed  in facilitating the clearance of the Wharves which is necessary for the development of the site. It is unfortunate that, despite considerable effort, we were not able to reach agreement with some of the owners of the boats which were alongside the Wharves but for the greater good of the town their vessels will have to be moved. The Council and Harbour Board will now actively support the next phases of the regeneration of the Wharves and look forward to the positive impact this will have on the overall harbour environment and eventually Bideford itself".

23rd January 2018