Yesterday I had to sadly record the impending closure of a factory in Paignton with its attendant job losses. Checking back through the blog I see it was last summer that I noted that Dairy Crest was leaving its long established premises in nearby Totnes. But it isn't all doom and gloom on the employment front in south Devon: there is news of an exciting redevelopment at Baltic Wharf. Let me explain the geography first. Baltic Wharf is a somewhat rundown area on the southern edge of Totnes and on the west bank of the estuary of the Dart. September 2006 saw the purchase of this land by 'TQ9 Partnership' which is owned by three people local to the Totnes area: Steve Mittler, Mark Yallop and Ian Dennis.
In summary the proposals are to add another 300 jobs to the 100 already on site, to build a mix of affordable and open market houses and add some offices and shops. It sounds like an excellent use of a brownfield site which won't detract from the essentially rural feel of the town. Further good news is the participation of architects Harris Sutton Partnership who are based in the heart of Totnes and recipients of many awards.
This is what I like to see - strong involvement of local expertise and finance in the development of schemes which will be good for the community at large. Totnes owes much to being at the lowest bridging point of the Dart so it is appropriate that this scheme is right on the bank of the river.
I am confident that the proposals will be enthusiastically received.