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Delicate task of balancing Torquay's needs with preserving the environment

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 29, 2012

PLAN: Susie Colley, chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Forum

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OPPORTUNITIES for new shops, homes and businesses are being opened up through Torquay's first planning blueprint drawn up by the community.

The new Neighbourhood Plan has the delicate task of balancing the needs for housing and jobs growth with preserving Torquay's unique environment over the next 20 years.

The draft master plan drawn up by volunteers over the past 12 months highlights several sites around the town for potential development.

It also looks at sites suitable for large scale enhancement of the town centre and harbour side area while at the same time emphasising the need to protect and enhance existing green areas and open spaces.

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The key areas looked at include the town centre from the harbour to Castle Circus and surrounding area and the gateway between Hamelin Way and Torre Station.

They also looked at areas such as Abbey Road/Melville Hill area, and issues such as transport, the harbour and night time economy.

The Neighbourhood Plan is being drawn up alongside Torbay Council's new Local Plan called A Landscape for Success which sets out a strategy for Torbay as a whole.

Torquay is expected to provide sufficient space to deliver an average of 375 jobs a year totalling 7,500 jobs over the 20-year period, and 150 to 200 homes a year, totalling up to 4,000.

The latest progress on the Neighbourhood Plan will be unveiled at a public meeting on Monday, December 3.

Torquay Neighbourhood Forum, with the Princes Foundation, are holding the meeting from 6pm to 9pm at the Riviera International Conference Centre.

The forum is keen to hear what residents think before finalising the plan.

A survey has been created together with a brochure which can be seen online at www.torquaynp.org

The forum is open to anyone who lives, works or carries out business in the town.

It also welcomes contributions from groups and organisations.

For information on how to get involved, email chair@torquaynp.org or log on to the website.

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  • TorbayLuvva  |  November 29 2012, 11:28AM

    It's hardly a draft plan, more like a collection of ideas and aspirations which it has taken 12 months to produce. Bottom line is that if it is ever to have any influence by becoming a statutory development plan, the Torquay Neighbourhood Plan has to match or exceed the housing quota set out in the Council's new Local Plan. This provides for 4,000 new homes to be built in Torquay over the next 20 years. The ideas so far committed to paper by the Torquay Neighbourhood Forum do include mention of major residential development in the Edginswell area on a large greenfield site alongside Hamlyn Way. When this same site was assessed back in 2008 as area G3 in the Council's SHLAA, it was said to be suitable for up to 750 new homes. Will this number need to be reduced once the bypass is complete? I would also question who would want to live within yards of cars and lorries thundering up and down Hamlyn Way at all times of the day and night. So before any credit is given, there is still a vast amount of work which still needs to be completed, namely specifying exactly where the other 3,250+ new homes are going to be built in Torquay over the next 20 years. There was huge opposition to Scotts Meadow, yet that site will only contain 150 homes. Are the residents of Torquay prepared to tolerate 4,000 new homes, many of which will necessarily have to be built on greenfield?