Tuesday 24th February 2004
Plans to redevelop the southern area of Totnes are likely to be withdrawn to enable a pioneering community engagement programme to take place.
South Hams District Council and local campaign group Save Our Space (SOS) have joined forces to devise a six-month consultation programme.
The innovative partnership follows discussions between the two parties on how local concerns about the development could be addressed.
The council owns some six acres of land behind the main shopping street, now mainly used for car parking. The site has been earmarked for development for over a decade, but previous proposals had to be abandoned after external funding failed to materialise.
In November 2003, the council published draft plans for 60 affordable and 40 open market houses, a decked car parking area and limited open space. However parts of the plan were met with local opposition.
With residents' help, the council is to take a fresh look at trying to protect important parts of the site, such as archaeological features, while providing appropriate levels of housing and car parking. SOS has agreed that any scheme needs to cover the council's costs of putting the proposal together.
SOS spokesperson, Susie Boyd, said: "The most rewarding living environments are those which combine the best of the old with the best of the new. By working together, we are confident this site can meet the needs of a vibrant 21st century community. "
South Hams Council's Leader, Cllr Richard Yonge, said: "SOS has given us a chance to harness the skills and enthusiasm of the local community to help us find a viable scheme that maximises the site's potential. This is too good an opportunity to miss."
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