10th September 2019
As a Totnes Town Councillor I find the over development of Totnes troubling.
Churchill Retirement have recently bought the Brutus Building; otherwise known as the old Co-op or Budgens site. I have been told by numerous sources that Churchill out-bid South Hams by a million pounds. They intend turning the site into a three story retirement apartment complex with a private garden and parking that have already been advertised nationally.
The impact this will have on our town in terms of infrastructure, parking, foot-fall and image would be detrimental in my view. Our town is already struggling with basic services, as well as an ageing local population, lack of parking, affordable housing and numerous other problems.
Churchill’s bottom line is to create revenue with no societal obligations or care for our town. After speaking to many residents both in person and online as well as fellow town and district councillors, I have not met anyone who wants or thinks this is a good idea. One lady I spoke with, aged 94, said that if they went ahead with this development it would “rip the heart out of Totnes.” I found this surprising and powerful. I would have thought that out of the numerous older people I had spoken to, they would be in support of this development as it is meant to target their demographic but the real clientelle sought by Churchill, is not the local ageing population, but big money downsizing retirees from up country.