North Devon Council is moving forward with its proposal to redevelop the current North Devon Leisure Centre site, as it submits a planning application for housing and a replacement car park at the site.
In 2019 the council was awarded a £2.2m grant from the government’s Land Release Fund (LRF), introduced to help councils unlock land for residential development. The grant will support the redevelopment of the site of the old leisure centre and move the long stay car park.
Plans to provide a new swimming pool and leisure facilities adjoining Tarka Tennis Centre are already well under way, with the current leisure centre remaining open until the replacement facility has been built to ensure a seamless transition for users. The next milestone for the project has now been reached, as the council has submitted its planning application for the development of accommodation at the site, as well as a replacement car park.
Following public consultation in 2020, the scheme was reduced from 245 units to up to 180 units of accommodation, but still includes apartments and town houses on the site of the current leisure centre and existing long-stay car park. There will be a mix of retirement properties and family homes, with an allocation of affordable housing.
The council is now inviting the public to have their say on the planning application, which is on the council’s website.
Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden, said: “We are excited to have reached the next milestone in this development, with the submission of our plannning application.
“The LRF grant we were awarded has given us a really exciting opportunity to resolve the problem we have with a lack of housing options in the town centre, including the need for more affordable housing. We believe the high quality developments and designs in the plans will enhance this prime riverside location and meet the needs of our community.
“We will continue to work with Devon County Council and the Environment Agency to ensure the decisions we make are the right ones for Barnstaple and its residents. We welcome your comments on the planning application, which can be seen on our website.”
The planning application will be available on the council’s website with the opportunity to comment until 13 August 2021. Residents should go to the council’s planning portal to read more and have their say.