We don't want massive £50m skyscraper with posh flats in our pretty seaside town – it's forcing locals out | The Sun

RESIDENTS in a picturesque coastal town are terrified a monster 30-storey £50 million skyscraper full of posh flats could drive them out.

Shepherds Wharf could become the tallest tower in the South West – offering 200 apartments, restaurants, shops and commercial space across two buildings.

But locals in Plymouth, Devon, worry landlords could snap up homes in the proposed tower and turn them into Airbnbs and holiday lettings.

Lynne Elliott, 66, who has worked in Plymouth for 38 years, told The Sun: "I wouldn’t have a problem with it if it was going to be affordable.

"But they want to take up this beautiful waterfront space with something local people haven’t got a hope in hell of being able to live in.

"It will bring in people who aren’t going to contribute to the local economy.

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"We already have high levels of homelessness and social deprivation and posh flats and Airbnbs aren’t going to help that."

Plymouth has 10,220 people on the housing waiting list, according to figures released last year by the city council.

Devon County Council declared a housing crisis in 2021, with a lack of rental properties thought to be preventing key workers moving to the area.

It's also left local people moving elsewhere due to being priced out of the properties available to rent or buy.

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Alongside the "elegant" sky-scraping tower, a 10-floor rectangular apartment block will sit next to it.

Both buildings would sit on a patch of waterfront wasteland near Sutton Harbour, next to two Premier Inn hotels.


Linda Aych who lives nearby, fumed: "Does the area really need a 30-storey block of flats? Of course it doesn’t. People need family homes and green spaces."

"The only people who will buy them will be people wanting investment properties."

Meanwhile financial trader Angelo Bonavita, 51, reckoned more residents would lead to more pollution which he said would damage the environment.

But not everyone is against the proposed plans.

Michelle Suckling, 42, said she was in favour of the idea as long as the tower respected the area’s maritime heritage.

She added: “People hate change but we need change, what a view you would get from the top and what an attraction it would be for visitors.

“I think it would bring more money into the city but I would rather it was for local residents than holiday homes or buy to lets."

She reckons the tower could give Plymouth it's own version of London's The Shard, challenging the status quo of the city's "square box" architecture.

But local Richard Chamberlain, 50, said buyers need to be aware of the "noisy harbour" where boats run generators through the night.

The site received planning consent for a previous scheme in 2008 but it was never built and the land changed hands several times.

People hate change but we need change, what a view you would get from the top and what an attraction it would be for visitors

The company behind Shepherds Wharf – Comcor Ltd – says it has already struck a deal to buy the land and has the funding in place.

If planning approval is given, construction could start before the end of 2025.

But the developer also wants to increase the size of the tower.

Mike Leech, Comcor’s marketing manager, said: “The old planning consent was for 23 storeys.

"We are going to ask if we can take it to 30 storeys and make it the biggest building in the south of England.”

A Plymouth Council spokesperson told The Sun: "The Local Planning Authority (LPA) has received a pre-application enquiry for the site at Shepherds Wharf, Sutton Harbour.

"The purpose of a pre-application is for a potential developer to seek initial feedback from planners on emerging plans or proposals as assessed against adopted planning policies and guidance.

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"The Council has adopted policies regarding housing mix, types and tenures and these will be considered as part of the assessment.

"Following the pre-application process, should the developer submit an application for planning permission, this will be advertised in the usual way and residents will have an opportunity to submit letters of representation to the LPA setting out any concerns that they might have."

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