Category Archives: Towns Around Exmoor


North Devon Council and Devon County Council are consulting on options to improve links for pedestrians and cyclists between Anchorwood Bank and Barnstaple town centre.

There are a number of ways in which crossing the River Taw could be improved – including a new bridge, or changes to the existing Long Bridge, to improve capacity. In consultation with Historic England, the councils have identified six crossing options.

Local residents and businesses are invited to consider these six options, and to provide feedback as to which are considered most beneficial and deliverable.

Taw Footbridge Options (revised)Executive Member for economic development and regeneration, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “We are particularly interested to understand the views from businesses and organisations in the town centre, and from those who regularly use the town centre for shopping, services and eating out.

“Improving the ability to cross the river is important to ensure the town centre doesn’t lose trade from Asda and the other retail developments at Anchorwood Bank. We want to make sure the option we choose is best for the town and your views are really important. Please go online and have your say.”

Local member for Barnstaple Longbridge ward, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “In principle I support the idea of a pedestrian and cycling footbridge across the river and I will read the options put forward with interest and make my judgement as part of the consultation process. However, I do not now, nor will I in the future, support any structural modifications or appendages to the current Longbridge, which I believe should be preserved as the historical gateway to Barnstaple.”

“The six options are explained on the council website. The main document sets out the options and provides a summary of the main benefits and issues, with a more detailed assessment of the options within Appendix B of the document.

The deadline for feedback is 5pm on 2 March 2017. The full document can be downloaded from the council website. If you experience any problems downloading the document, email


The planning application for The Southern Extension – a major housing-led, mixed-use development in Ilfracombe – has been updated, taking the project another step forward.

The plans for the development are now being led by Inox Property Group following Resign’s decision to withdraw from the project. Inox’s application is for 750 homes, along with community facilities including shops, business units, a primary school and a health centre. It also outlines green open spaces for the local community and cycle and pedestrian routes. Amendments to the original application include changes to the mix of land use and phasing across the application site.

The council will now consult on the amended plans as well as a new application which has also been received for playing fields on land immediately adjoining the southern extension site.

Lead Member for Strategic Planning at North Devon Council, Councillor Jeremy Yabsley, says: “It’s great news that the application is progressing – it’s an exciting project for the area and I look forward to seeing it develop.”

Local ward member Councillor Mike Edmunds says: “Damien Hirst and his team from Resign should be thanked for all the hard work that they have done to take this application forward. I am delighted that Inox – a company with a proven track record  – have agreed to take on the first phase of the Southern Extension which includes the primary school and sports pitches.”

Local ward member Councillor Geoff Fowler says: “I very much welcome the move towards the next stage of this application. It has huge implications as to how Ilfracombe will expand in the future.”

The 106 document controls the development of the infrastructure and facilities that will be provided on the site. It also controls contributions that will be made to community projects in the area by the developers as part of the application.

Full details of the application, including plans and progress, are available to view on the North Devon Council website.



Plans to enhance The Strand in Barnstaple will proceed, following a meeting of North Devon Council’s Executive on Monday 5 December.

The council’s ambition for The Strand is to create a vibrant and busy leisure space, making the most of the waterfront and historic architecture. These ambitions are echoed in the Barnstaple Coastal Community Team’s Economic Plan, created following public consultation events in the town. To achieve this the council has agreed to offer an area of land on the eastern end of the Strand to a third party, to deliver better use of the area and promote a cafe culture.

The area of land, which was once a fish market, is on the bridge side of the Tea on the Taw cafe. Expressions of Interest will be sought to select a third party to deliver a scheme to enhance the area.

Executive Member for Economic Development, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “As the Anchorwood Bank development proceeds, there will be a shift of interest to the riverside and The Strand has real potential as a great place to eat, drink, relax and enjoy events in the town. We hope that by making some improvements to the look and feel of the Strand, and exploring ways of making better use of the fish market site next to Tea on the Taw, we can make it a more vibrant and attractive place for people to enjoy their leisure time.”

Meanwhile, the Queen Anne’s building (which was home to Barnstaple Heritage Centre) will be marketed in January 2017. The council hopes to find interest in the building as a cafe, restaurant or similar leisure use.

For more information about the enhancement of The Strand, email Read the Barnstaple Coastal Community Team’s economic plan for the town online at


Work has started on essential work on cliffs above Quay Street in Minehead – and it’s very much business as usual for traders in the area.

West Somerset Council has commissioned experts to carry out remedial work on the steep hillside to protect properties below and the project is likely to take three weeks.

Work got under way on Monday 20 June at the harbour end of the road and is progressing well, with contractors taking full advantage of calm weather.

The highly visual nature of the work is drawing onlookers who are able to watch the operation from safe vantage points. Residents are welcoming the work that is being carried out above their properties.

Cllr Mandy Chilcott, Deputy Leader of the council and a Minehead ward member, said she was pleased the work was on schedule and that the weather was favourable.

“The reason we have to carry out this essential work now is to take full advantage of fair weather, rather than the autumn when it could have been affected by strong winds. It is vital that the remedial work is done as soon as possible.

“I know that residents are relieved this work is being done and we are also working with businesses in Quay Street, Quay West and the harbour and would encourage people to do all they can to support them. It’s vital this work is carried out and we are doing our utmost to minimise disruption.”

Quay Street is being closed to vehicles from 9.30am-4.30pm on weekdays but pedestrian access is being maintained – meaning people can easily reach affected businesses – Tea at the Quay tearooms, The Old Ship Aground pub, The Echo Beach café, the fishing tackle shop at the harbour and charter fishing boats.

The road closure is in place for safety reasons as a heavy-duty crane is operating on site, taking material – tree branches and rock – from the hillside.

Operational work includes emptying nets designed to catch debris, strengthening fixings for the nets and some tree removal and maintenance.

Quay West car park is closed for the duration of the work as it is the compound for machinery, equipment and welfare facilities for those working on site. The gents’ loos are closed but the ladies’ remain open for the public. Special parking arrangements are in place for affected Quay Street and Quay West residents and businesses.