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East the Water Wharves set for exciting development following Full Council Decision

East The Water Wharves Aerial View

Members have voted to let the development of East of the Water Wharves with their preferred bidder for the site "Red Earth Developments Ltd". A special Full Council meeting was held at the end of August to hear the outcome of the marketing of the site through International property specialists JLL. The winning bid was one of two highlighted as the most viable schemes with five bids received in total. The winning bid was also judged to have demonstrated a deliverable plan and one that was most closely aligned with the Councils vision of how the site should be developed.

The Tiverton based company are also recognised as having a solid track record for projects in historic towns and previous waterside locations such as Salcombe, Dartmouth, Bath, Sherborne, Wells and Tavistock.

Simon Friend - owner and managing director of Red Earth said: "We are delighted that Councillors have placed their trust in our bid to deliver a mixed use development for this prestigious site. We want to develop the site as an accessible "destination" for residents and visitors that maximises the potential of this unique and historic waterside location. This is an exciting one-off opportunity to create a landmark scheme that will compliment the town centre and support the Councils Economic Regeneration programme."

Adelle Moore - Surveyor at JLL said: "The proposed scheme includes a large public piazza and quay side walk, restaurants and shops alongside high quality residential accommodation. The current plans for the scheme also include a floating pontoon and public art installation. The overall investment is likely to be in excess of £20 million."

Councillor James Morrish - Lead Member for the Economy said: "The Wharves site in Bideford has been identified by Councillors as a key to unlocking further regeneration in the area. The process of marketing and selecting a preferred bid has now been completed and Red Earth will be the catalyst for delivering this substantial investment. We're looking forward to the site being brought forward with a contemporary build whilst ensuring public access and facilities are incorporated into the final design. We will also look to capture and include the views of the Town Council and residents but I'm glad that a forward momentum is again being generated in making this happen."  

The site has not been without its challenges in recent years not least because of the issues in overcoming substantial remediation works. This will include stabilisation of the wall frontage to the river which will need to be addressed before the major part of the development can commence. The offer to build is also conditional on securing planning permission and legal formalities. Following further site work the developers hope to be in a position to submit a detailed planning application in the Summer of 2018 to be followed by a period of public consultation. Once planning consent is granted a projected start date is envisaged in the Summer of 2019 with a build out time of 24 months.

18 September 2017