Current Issues

Current Issues (3)

Response from the Town Clerk to public reaction to the closure of LLoyds Bank

Whilst it is extremely disappointing that Lloyds has closed both the branch and the cash machine it does seem rather difficult to understand why the Town Council should be blamed.

If any private company decides it is going to close there is nothing I am aware of that can be done to stop that. Indeed Lloyds has a national policy of closing branches. It recently closed Lynton, Combe Martin, Braunton, and Chulmleigh. 

The Town Council did complain to the chief executive and the financial ombudsman and whilst these actions might have slowed the process it clearly wasn’t going to stop it.

On the positive side talks have taken place with Nationwide re the future service in the town. These talks have been encouraging and we expect a good outcome. However any project has to be slotted into Nationwide’s programme. So it is not going to happen overnight.

In the meantime BT has submitted a planning application to site a cash machine at the entrance to Sydney House car park in South Street. We are expecting a quick decision from Torridge District Council. 

Another application has been submitted by Duffy’s to site a cash machine in the front window and accessed from outside. Again we hope for a quick decision.

In the meantime there are machines in a number of shops within the town but can only be accessed whilst the shops are open.

We anticipate there will be at least one externally accessed cash machine in the town centre but we have to wait a short while.

Michael Tighe

Town Clerk

 

Update following the closure of Lloyds Bank in Torrington

When the announcement was made that Lloyds was to close the Town Clerk immediately wrote an email to the Chief Executive of the bank. He explained the hardship that such a closure would bring to the town and how inconvenient the loss of the ATM would be. The bank replied that a lack of use by customers made the branch uneconomic and it would close.

It was felt the bank had not complied with the Banking Protocol for closures and a complaint was referred to the Financial Ombudsman. The Ombudsman decided not to pursue the complaint.

An alternative provider has been contacted by the Town Council and is very interested in helping the town. At the same time a planning application has been made to Torridge District Council for a new cash machine to be installed. It will take a few weeks before a decision can be made.

Please see below email from the Town Council to LLoyds Bank:-

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017 13:55

Play Area Vandalism

Written by

Great Torrington Town is currently investing in some of the play areas throughout the town, one being Trafalgar Drive Play Area.  We are saddened to report that over this past weekend there has been vandalism and damage to existing equipment and also to works in progress to improve the area.  The Town Council is in the process of upgrading the area with new equipment.
This matter has been reported to the Police – I would ask the public that if anyone saw anything in relation to this matter to contact the Police immediately.
In addition, we would like to say that the Town Council would like to continue to invest time and money in these types of schemes, but will not be able to if mindless vandalism continues. I would urge the public to be vigilant in looking out for such activity as it would be a shame for the small minority to spoil it for everyone else.

Michael Tighe
Town Clerk

Current situation the Old Creamery site – planning ref. 1/0039/2016OUTM 

Torridge District Council met on Thursday 12th May 2016 to determine the new application.  The new application was virtually identical to the previous one.  The Planning Committee had visited the site and they granted permission but with various conditions one of which is that the site must be cleared before building any new houses.  Many people will be pleased that some progress is being made, others are not happy that more employment land is not being allocated.  There is also concern for the wildlife on the site and we hope this will be treated in a sensitive manner.

The Committee report is attached for further detail.

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Update on Old Creamery site

A planning application has been submitted at long last on the Old Creamery at Torridge Vale, Torrington.  It is being called a hybrid application because it is in two halves with part being a full detailed application and the rest an outline application.  The detailed application is for 13 three, four and five bed detached houses on a green field site above the site on Limer’s Hill.  Inevitably this will be controversial as it will look as it is infringing onto the commons.  But the argument is that this will help to fund the demolition of the derelict factory and the contamination of this brownfield site. 

Torrington Town Council held a meeting on 29th July 2015 to discuss this as consultees.  The majority of the councillors had reservations and asked the developer present many questions.  The public also asked questions.  The Clerk outlined the planning position as far as the Local Plan and the emerging Local Plan.  The development does not comply with some aspects of either plan.  There were concerns about the lack of affordable houses, the height of the houses, access on to Limer’s Hill, the play areas, lack of employment land and loss of habitat.  Also the councillors were worried that the developer would just do the easy development and walk away from the factory site.  But after careful consideration and the recognition that the site had lain derelict for 23 years they vote for the application with many conditions.  Of course the final decision rests with Torridge District Plans Committee.

If you want to see the plans you can visit the Torridge District web site planning page and go to Great Torrington (or by clicking the link below).  Alternatively you can see the plans at the Town Council offices Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9 – 1.00.  There are a lot of plans so allow plenty of time to look through.  You can make comments either online or by letter.

To view the Plans for the Old Creamery site please CLICK HERE.

 


The derelict site on the edge of Great Torrington near the Torridge River has been a blot on the landscape for over 20 years.  It was an issue raised by the residents of Torrington during the recent election and Torrington Town Council has discussed it many times.  About 18 months ago representatives of the owners of the site visited the town council but we saw no progress as the result of this meeting.  Originally the town council wished to see some type of employment activity on this site but we have given up on this.  So when the local plan consultation last year suggested 100% residential units on this site, we welcomed this.  There could be 140 including affordable homes built on the site and the new local plan will allocate the land for this use.  The local plan should have completed its process by the autumn.

We were told recently that surveyors were seen on the site.  But no one has approached the town council about any movement to develop the site.  We understand that the site is contaminated but we do not think any work has been carried out to ascertain the level of contamination or the cost of remedial work to sort this out.  The town council will continue to push to see this problem site developed.