An independent group of ‘Community Champions’ is to oversee public involvement in the first detailed designs for Baltic Wharf in Totnes, its owners have announced.
The Baltic Wharf Consultation Steering Group will support and help guide the work of an independent facilitator to gather ideas from across the Totnes community, including those who do not usually participate in such events.
Local people will be asked for their input into the look and feel of phase one of the 26-acre redevelopment in the New Year.
Phase one will include the co-housing scheme and the Landscape and Wildlife Design Plan for the entire £48 million development will also be consulted on and submitted.
The steering group includes members from the town and district councils, KEVICC, Transition Town Totnes, the co-housing group and others. Its role and composition was decided by townspeople at a pre-consultation meeting in August.
Baltic Wharf Consultation Steering Group member, Tony Whitty, said: “Steering Group members will do their very best to be effective community champions so that everyone who wants a say in Baltic Wharf’s design can get their opinion across. People will be able to come to us if they feel an important point hasn’t been properly considered. It is potentially a very exciting new way for developments in the town to work with communities.”
Steve Mittler, director of Baltic Wharf, said: “We have learned that genuine community involvement makes for a better scheme. By getting a detailed understanding of these views at the beginning we have the best chance of producing a scheme the community really wants.”
Leading the consultation process is independent facilitator, Jeff Bishop from BDOR Limited. He said: “In my experience it is rare for a developer to seek this level of local involvement, especially for a project of this size. This is a real opportunity for everyone who is interested in Baltic Wharf’s future.”
Full details of the public consultation will be finalised in the coming weeks. As well as at least one big public drop-in event, the process is expected to include workshops and other types of interactive activities.
The feedback will be used to help draw up a detailed planning application for phase one, which South Hams Councillors will have to approve before construction work on the site can begin.
Once complete, the Baltic Wharf revival will have space for over 300 jobs, a fully modernised boatyard, extensive live-work opportunities, a ground-breaking co-housing scheme, up to 190 affordable and market homes and a retirement village.
Some 12 acres of the site will become a new green community space with wildlife-friendly play and picnic areas and riverside walkways linking to the footpaths beyond.
Outline planning permission for the semi-dilapidated 26-acre site was granted in December 2010.
(from a press release)
(image: Baltic Wharf, Totnes A view from Totnes Footpath 2 along the length of the boatyards. This image was taken from the Geograph project collection. See this photograph’s page on the Geograph website for the photographer’s contact details. The copyright on this image is owned by Derek Harper and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.)