There are over 3,500 signatures now on the Save the Heart of Totnes petition (online and on paper), which was started at the beginning of August when people at last woke up to the reality of what was being proposed for the Joint Plan.
But people haven’t only been signing, they’ve also been commenting and here below are a very small selection of their comments.
These comments come from people who live and work in the South Hams and surrounding areas, or who come as visitors and who know Totnes well – There are 890 comments on the petition each of them calling for this plan to be scrapped.
Calling this a local plan is somewhat disingenuous. There’s been no local input and the locals affected didn’t have any idea until a few days ago.
To destroy the fabric of an ancient market town, that still needs its vibrant market, is a crime. This is an age of austerity, but we should not let it be also an age of greed and destruction. Our way of life, our open spaces, the places were we meet and shop, are not for sale.
Totnes is an INCREDIBLY important place for artists visitors and residents alike. Please don’t let his beautiful place be ruined by this ridiculous plan.
These are valuable amenities for the local people and space is as important as development in any town. Stop this now.
I can’t believe that Totnes is being destroyed under a siege of development. There has already been so much inappropriate development on the outskirts and now the centre is being threatened.
I’m sure the traders and users of the town would agree that we need more car parking, not less. And this development plan would seem also to endanger some of the unique aspects of Totnes, including its nationally recognised open markets. Any redevelopment of the town centre or leechwell areas ought to take into consideration the way the town is read as a world leading sustainable threshold, and a place people want to visit for its sense of character, its historic significance, and its awareness of a town as a regional social conscience.
Totnes has suffered a glut of development of characterless, unaffordable houses on its precious green spaces already. It attracts wealthy people wanting second homes and retirees who will contribute little to its fragile economy, and destroys the historical and natural environment which is treasured. Please stop. We need social housing for local people not bland executive development.
This is my home, I was born here. And it is bad enough that you are building so many houses around town with no increase in infrastructure. Making the town feel more and more claustrophobic, but this is insane. Totnes is a medieval market town. It is part of its history and heritage. It is a thriving wonderful aspect to the town. Alongside that we need all the communal spaces not to be filled with houses. And for lords sake, the carparks are essential given that there are more and more houses being built so more and more cars for people to come into town. This idea of building in the town should be illegal. And will be met with massive resistance.
I cannot imagine how anyone could consider such a destructive plan.
This is so very shortsighted. Why does every inch of space need to by built on? towns need breathing and community spaces outdoors. Totnes would lose it’s essential character without these spaces. For practical reasons carparks are necessary – businesses would suffer irretrievably without them. Do not use these spaces to build homes please.
I’m signing this to stop what will ultimately become the beginning of the death of this historic town that brings in so many visitors to Devon. This is undemocratic and shortsighted. It will be resisted by the entire town of Totnes.
I live a few metres from this area. Central Totnes is a precious bit of our heritage and any development will inevitably have an impact on listed buildings, the conservation area and the character of Totnes.
I love the vibe of Totnes and it would destroy its character to change the market and the car parks. It would stop people travelling there and shopping there!! Like me!
Totnes’s open spaces are vital to the quality of life in the town. The market has been operating for 800 years bringing trade and vibrancy. Totnes is too valuable to become a retirement home or a Torbay dormitory town.
Totnes current car parks (essential), market Square, community garden and school must be retained and banned from any building proposals in the future. The spaces are of premium value to inhabitants as they are and not for the beneficial use of the District Council.
This will rip the heart out of our lovely town.It would change all that makes Totnes the individual historic market town which is the very thing that attracts people to it. Also we have limited parking as it is loosing more will make the town suffer economically and the green space is really important for social emotional health and wildlife.
I live in Totnes and cannot understand anyone wanting to destroy it ~ which would happen if these greedy and ridiculous changes were to happen!!! Totnes has for centuries been a market town and this unique place is known for this, also parking is so difficult so where would people do this??? short term gain for long term loss ~ the idiot who came up with this strategy should be sacked!!!
This would be a ridiculously short-sighted and ill-advised way for the council to add to it’s funds. The only winners would be the developers who will move on to the next town once they have profited greedily from ours. We need to be consulted and we need to put common sense above making a quick buck from selling off the town’s limited assets. No car parks = fewer visitors = less spending = local businesses closing down.
If there is any validity to the claim that Totnes is different or unique, then building ‘not-cheap’ housing all over the few remaining civic and green spaces is entirely counter intuitive. There are already huge issues with traffic and parking… it’s clearly not been thought through right?
Don’t destroy what we have here, we believe it is worth fighting for.
This is almost certainly the most ridiculous idea I have seen in a while. I can only assume the plan has been drawn up by someone who neither lives in or has visited Totnes.
We have run our business, Siting Rooms of Totnes, here in the town centre since 1996. Any reduction in town centre parking would be catastrophic for our continued exsistance.
Homes for whom, the wealthy second homers who rush backwards and forwards along the A303, A38, I really don’t think we need any more of those.
I own property in Totnes and the plans are crazy. We need to maintain what makes the town attractive, not to destroy the very same thing.
There is a very heavy emphasis on Totnes – we seem to be getting all the housing. We need a more consultative plan that distributes the weight of development across the region, and furthermore there needs to be ample provision for infrastructure in Totnes. For example, have you seen the swimming pool? And the kiddies playing park? I am deeply concerned that we have had a month of consultation in the middle of the summer, which seems suspiciously inappropriate
I’m signing because I am a Totnes resident, understand the sites involved and am truly appalled at the flagrant disregard for any spcial awareness on the part of the planners/Council. MONEY RULES in big letters here, and this must not be allowed to overrule the rights of the local people.
Because this is a town that needs to retain the wellbeing, community and rich heritage and culture. Not just line the bank accounts of developers and whoever else looks to benefit without consideration to those who live there, quality of life.
I cannot believe this is even being contemplated!
Developers intend to destroy Totnes with their investment properties and second homes and South Hams Council have no intention of preventing this happening and indeed some officers and or councillors may well have an interest in facilitating this happening. After all, it’s not unheard of for an officer to leave the council for a well rewarded job with a developer after some years of promoting that same developers interests to the councillors. Totnes with its inquisitive and intelligent population is just a pain in the butt to the local cartels, oops, I mean, councils. Long May that remain so.
We visit Totnes very regularly as we have family there and this significant historical market area and green space must be preserved for us and future generations.
This would destroy Totnes, beloved by many, not just residents and on whom the town depends economically.
This plan is utterly shortsighted and ridiculous. However great the need for more housing and commercial units is, getting rid of car parks, schools, parks and the market would ruin the biggest attraction to this town and place for tourists to park and space for people to relax. This is not a nimby complaint, it makes no sense to build on these spaces.
The individual character and environment of towns,villages,and countryside, established over centuries make this land; and is what draws the visitors and fuels our economy.
I’m signing because the over development of town centres has become more and more prevalent across the UK. More and more LA’s are attempting to make money by selling land to unscrupulous developers-allowing them to build whatever they like – and NOT THINKING about current infrastructure or future proofing infrastructure. This will cost them more in the long run.
Council officers have a new sort of nimbyism – WBMP – Won’t be my problem!!
I regularly attend the market on route to visit my mother. We lunch in the town regularly. Totnes is a gem in a rapidly commercial world. Where are your souls South Hams?
I have fought long and hard for the community garden, i have lived here over 30 years and seen every bit of green area eroded by the greedy SHDC
The centre of towns, particularly ancient towns like Totness, belong to the people, not developers or town councils.
A huge amount of building is going on in Totnes already, with no affordable homes for local people. These public and green spaces are much valued and used by all. This irrevocable loss must not be allowed for short-term gain.
Totnes must remain the individual and interesting place it is. Bland, ugly and Inappropriate development is seriously damaging places like this. Soon there will be no reason to travel to the Southwest at all.
I think it’s a terrible idea to sacrifice these very useful spaces, let alone the market in order to create more ugly housing just to generate more profit.
A ridiculous idea that would rip the heart out of the centre of this ancient market town, and destroy all the bits that make it attractive to visitors. I understand that more housing is needed in the area, but surely a more appropriate location can be found.
This plan is ludicrous, it would ruin the heart of the town. The bustling markets on Friday and Saturday bring in lots of people from surrounding areas and many visitors bringing trade for the rest of the town too. The car parks are essential so that people can go to the shops. Has the world gone mad? I was born in Totnes and it upsets me when I see this kind of greed from developers who don’t live here and don’t seem to care about the town. I shall be fighting this.
I live amongst those carparks, Leechwell Garden is beautiful and well used by the local residents and their children and the Market is the life blood of the town. It would be madness to build on these areas!!
Totnes market is the life blood of the town. Leechwell Garden is a beautiful and much used community space. The car parks are absolutely necessary for local residents like me to park our cars as well as allowing visitors to park and shop and bring in money to the town. This idea seems like madness!
This development would destroy Totnes which is pretty damn perfect!
This is a ridiculous, ill-thought out proposal that would stand to benefit only the greedy developers who clearly don’t give a damn about preserving the heritage or character of the town. I fail to see how the actual residents of Totnes would stand to gain from this proposal and furthermore it’s an absolute disgrace that we even need to spend our precious time protesting about such nonsense. Do the right thing for once SHDC and stop being so short-sighted.
I grew up in totnes and know how key these areas both for locals to park doing their shopping and for tourists in the summer ( on whom many local businesses rely on). Theses areas are also part of the historical makeup and personality of the town, so must be protected. Frankly I am shocked that they aren’t already listed.
Have you no sense of history, no reason, unless you are making a profit? Do you not realise that as you invest in your now, you leave no inheritance for your future. Value what counts. Community, history, space and design. Do not turn your town into a carbon copy of all the other towns. Build around it if you must but not right in the middle. I was looking at buying a property there myself, but this ignorance has made me doubt that I will.
Totnes is one of my favourite destinations, especially on Market day. Its already hard enough to park and if it got harder, I and all my guests at my Noss Mayo holiday cottage will no longer want to come to Totnes. The market is the heart and soul of the town. This will kill all the small independent businesses that make Totnes so unique.
SHDC are trying to rush this through without giving the public time to protest.
Totnes should not be developed for the profit of a few.
Totnes is a beautiful creative amazing special place and to destroy it in this manner is unacceptable, please don’t do this you will take the very heart of what makes Totnes Totnes and lynch it into just another town not only the destruction of people jobs and unique spaces, this would be the death of totnes
I don’t want Totnes to become Newton Abbot.
There is already a substantial amount of land in and around Totnes that has been used for the development of new housing. This housing will already have a huge impact on traffic, services, environment amongst many. To build houses or develop the earmarked sites will destroy the very character of the town that attracts the businesses and tourists who create it’s income. he unfortunate problem that I see is the south Hams Council seem to be very disconnected to ‘why’ the town thrives in the way that it does. I hope that our town id able to survive thees breaches of community by developers who have little or no interest in what makes Totnes tick.
Totnes should remain unspoilt, it is part of Southwest’s Heritage.
This proposal is beyond parody and must be stopped. Have the SHDC not seen that this would destroy both the commercial and the green hearts of Totnes? Might this be a stalking horse for another more draconian idea?
Devon is becoming one big housing estate, we are loosing everything that makes Devon special.
I am not averse to commercial development in the centrally located properties which currently house Greenlife and the Totnes Bookshop, providing that local and independent businesses are to occupy them as opposed to multinational conglomerates which would undermine independent trade and devalue the authenticity of the town. However, I am entirely against additional housing being built in the centre of town and of repurposing central car parks which are sorely needed as many current residents already struggle for parking. I also feel strongly about preserving the green spaces in the town both for the use of residents and for maintaining the attraction of the town to tourists, upon whom much of our local businesses depend.
I have lived in totnes all if my life, my children now attend the Grove school. This is a historic town which should not have housing built on it’s market square, gardens, car parks or local school.
This would be a disaster, it would rip the character out of the place. I cannot believe the short sightedness of this proposal.
I have lived and worked in Totnes all my adult life. Currently I run a shop in the town and this vibrant bustling little market town has struggled with the destructive actions of the council through the road directions enough and it seems this is now another tack to destroy the town. Where housing is necessary, so too is parking, school and of course our beautiful destination market. This application is destructive, futile and quite frankly disgraceful.
Look what’s happened to dartington. Over developed totally lost its character. Totnes would be the same if the market goes,much needed car parks built on, character and soul of the place destroyed
The council and planning department seem intent on destroying places that are of historical and economic importance. (They are trying to do the same in Kingsbridge.) I don’t know where they think people and visitors, who are the economic lifeblood of any town centre in a holiday area, are expected to park. They will just drive on by to somewhere that is hospitable to them. Get out of your ivory tower SHDC and look at how people actually survive in this area.
I have lived in Devon all my life and used to live in Marldon. We shopped regularly in Totnes a lovely town which would be spoilt by this development plan. Too many of our towns are being are losing their character through over development.
As a local business,feel strongly that this would damage the town!
This idea is crazy and would strangle the town. There are already too many new building developments in Totnes without sufficient infrastructure to support them. Car parking is at a premium already! The Market is a key part of town life and draws in locals and visitors alike!
Totnes is a rare gem of a town unlike any other, and this is its beating heart
I now live in Totnes and all the areas are highly used and essential to the heart of the community. How can you build houses on potentially all of the car parks? I hope that The Grove School and Leechwell Gardens are no longer in the running given how they are now redeveloped. This is the most ridiculous plan I have read for the town.
I’ve lived in this town for over 3 decades, served on its council and love the markets, the green spaces that all help make it a good place. South Hams has treated our town abominably!
This plan beggars belief! Totnes needs to increase parking and retain the community spaces of the parks and civic square to maintain the quality of life for residents and continue to welcome visitors.
I have lived and still work in Totnes, the community is unlike any I have come across and the market is not only historically important but also a vital shared space for this vibrant and caring community
My family all live in Totnes and this would totally destroy the heart and identity of the town. No!
I feel very strongly that this proposal is wrong, harmful to the town and a very poor decision refelcting badly on the town and South Hams Council Planning
Totnes is unique. It is fast becoming a rare example of not just community living but of a dynamic one. It has always been a market town and never more so than now, in 21st century where people exchange their local and exotic wares be it local meat, fish, veg, or clothes, furniture, music, literature, ideas. We need to cling to as much of our disappearing diversity as we possibly can which this magical place offers. Changing the innate character of Totnes that all enjoy is not the way to raise funds
Please don’t ruin this beautiful and quirky town!Have visited many times and love it.
An absolute travesty if the planned developments go ahead in the centre of Totnes.
The first thing people say to me when I tell them that I live in Totnes is always that they love the market. To reduce the space available to it rather than encourage it to continue to thrive even further is utter madness.
The plans to develop Leechwell gardens is equally repugnant. It is a beautiful park that is an asset to the local community.
These are outrageous ideas. There’s already been a lot of building around Leechwell Street and by building on the car parks you’ll be driving away trade from Totnes. Building on the market, destroying Totnes history, is also an insane idea. Please don’t let these plans go through.
totnes is the only nice town for miles and they’ll ruin it
I love Totnes, particularly the market! Please do not spoil it by ‘development’.
Unbelievable! Nothing should be built there – do NOT destroy this beautiful town!
There are so many houses being built around totnes already!!! we don’t need more and we certainly don’t need more in the center of town where our community space is.
Totnes is a unique and vibrant English town which developed over centuries and isn’t replicated anywhere in America or Australia – though they would love this history. Please protect this nation of unique places for the next generation and beyond. The developments of today are like the ring road developments of the 1960s and will leave a scar on this beautiful nation.
Totnes as it is, is a Pearl, and replacing the Center with the planned Properties would in My eyes kill the Charm of the town. Embrace what you have for and renovate instead.
Needless and poorly considered development driven by short term financial gain cannot be undone!
I want Totnes to retain it’s unique character and not become another boring Mall type town. These plans will remove the heart out of the town.
I am a freequent visitor to the town, by destroying it I will go elsewhere and take my money that I spend away from the local economy. Totness will become yet another seaside town like any other, spoilt by development and dead in the winter with less attractions….may as well go to Torquay!!!!!