Geoffrey has written to Torridge District Council about a recent feasibility study on whether to use part of South Street Car Park for housing development. He said:
"Residents of Great Torrington have brought to my attention the fact that Torridge District Council is carrying out a feasibility study on whether to use part of South Street Car Park for housing development in the Town.
On hearing this news, I have written to Torridge District Council asking its administration to justify the proposal and I am awaiting its response. Once gone, a community asset is gone forever, and it will take very strong evidence of overriding benefit to the town for me to agree that this course could be appropriate or right.
Parking is already at a premium in Great Torrington and were this development to go ahead it would almost certainly displace some of the current demand onto the neighbouring streets where there is already a parking problem. There is, of course, an acute need for affordable local housing, but with development land on Hatchmoor, and possibly Burwood, coming forward, there may be other places in the town where it can go.
I am also working with County Councillor, Andrew Saywell, in looking at the traffic and highways issues that arise from this proposal. An MP has no role in the planning process and this decision would normally be taken by Torridge District Council as the planning authority.
However, I am profoundly concerned at the potential loss of this important community site, and if TDC decides to go ahead with the proposal, I shall consult with the Town Council and others about whether I should request the Secretary of State to call in any planning application that might be made to develop on it."