Consultant chosen to develop plans for Seven Brethren

Councillors Des Brailey, Pat Barker and Dick Jones at Seven Brethren

Posted on: 17 February 2016

North Devon Council has appointed an external consultant to develop plans to regenerate Seven Brethren in Barnstaple.

Last month, North Devon Council’s Executive agreed to release £50,000 to secure external, technical advice to assess the development options for Seven Brethren, which could transform the leisure and retail offer currently in the town.

Following a tender process, Jones Lang LaSalle have now been appointed. They have until May to produce a Development Options Appraisal for the site, including options for the future of North Devon Leisure Centre.

Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “There is a vision to redevelop the council’s land at Seven Brethren and in doing so, we also hope to release funds to help pay for a new leisure centre. This is a very complex project with lots of constraints, so we needed to bring in expert advice. This is so we can identify options to get the best value we can for any surplus land and support and enhance what is currently on offer in the town. I look forward to seeing the results of their investigations.”

Executive Member responsible for property and assets, Councillor Richard Edgell, says: “This is a very significant exercise and could lead to an enormous project for North Devon Council. We are appointing a major advisor with worldwide experience and representation, who should be able to provide the council with comprehensive assessments of both the physical and financial aspects of the opportunities for this very prominent riverside site.”

The Development Options Appraisal will establish what types and levels of development might be appropriate, as well as an outline strategy for delivering the plans, including specific advice about financing a new leisure centre.

Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “This is a tremendous opportunity to maximise the assets belonging to North Devon Council and therefore the residents of North Devon. A new leisure centre is an absolute must for Barnstaple and North Devon and this exciting prospect may well be the means to deliver it. Support for such a venture is essential and will, as a result, ensure physical and recreational facilities, which will benefit the health and wellbeing of our residents for generations to come.”

Jones Lang LaSalle will be working alongside an internal team at the council, who will report their findings to the council’s Executive in June.

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