BOB CURTIS: Just where will everyone park?
AT a BM21 meeting last week, members discussed the proposed town centre development. Partly because of the number of jobs the project would deliver, and the developer's faith in a multi-million Brixham investment, the majority appeared to be in favour of the supermarket.
However, there was some concern voiced regarding the probable loss of the town's park and ride facility at Churston.
It would appear that because of drastic Government cuts, Torbay Council has adopted a policy... 'if it doesn't make any money, we can't support it!'
That's all very well but what are the many visitors headed towards Brixham supposed to do for parking during the two-year building programme?
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Closing the only park and ride certainly won't encourage the tourists to put the port of Brixham on their 'must visit' list.
We are told the annual running cost of the out-of-town parking facility is about £20,000… about the price of a decent palm tree!
However, I'm reliably informed there are three businessmen, closely connected with establishments in that area, willing to support the park and ride venture.
Even to the extent of constructing a 'bridge' over the soft embankment so that buses could fully enter the parking field.
At that same meeting, a Torbay councillor and a council officer confirmed that, as with most local authorities, drastic budget cuts need to be made.
I almost lost my rag when they also announced the demolition of Threshers, the old off-licence building on Bolton Cross, would take place next month.
One member suggested the planned 'rebuild' should be delayed until the supermarket development was complete… thus allowing big transport easy access around the busy crossroads. Fair comment!
Sadly, and it wasn't explained why, the present 'agreement' requires that as the existing building comes down, so the new bit must be started.
Personally, I can't see how removing the existing building and then replacing it with something close to the original size can increase 'clean-air-flow' around Bolton Cross.
Plus, I'm willing to bet that particular venture will cost more than twenty grand. So, where's that funding coming from, pray tell!
DURING last week I made the daft mistake of asking a fishing skipper his feelings about the UK leaving the European Union.
Glory be! I'd almost forgotten the depth of fishermen's saltwater language.
However, he calmed down slightly over a pint and outlined just a few of the 'mad' regulations British fishermen are expected to follow.
Take scallop fishing. Back in the ol' days, when the dredges landed the catch onto the deck, the scallops were cleaned and the shells quietly tipped back into the sea.
Often there's an abundance of tiny marine life attached to the shells and returning them to the seabed offers a chance of 'life'.
Today? Oh dear! Today, the scallops must be landed before they're cleaned and then the empty shells are classed as 'chemical waste' and must be washed clean before being disposed of.
Unfortunately, the disposal of the washed shells cost more than the total value of the catch! How mad is that?
During our second pint, the skipper calmly explained about another European regulation.
It concerns discards… fish too small to land, outside the vessel's quota or not acceptable by the market.
Anyway, until recently this unwanted catch was shovelled overboard as the trawl was re-shot. That's not permissible today. New European rules state that discards must be landed and sent off to be recycled.
Would you believe the nearest port to deal with such unwanted 'rubbish' is… Hull!
THE first maritime accident of 2013 hit Torbay in the early hours of Sunday, January 12.
Within minutes the brave lads of the Torbay lifeboat were out of their beds and rushing to the assistance of the crew of the damaged tug, Christos XXII.
Like many mariners I scratched my head wondering how a tug, towing an unmanned German ex-training vessel, could be hit by its own tow. But then, life at sea is full of mysteries.
One piece of news that made me smile (apart from learning that everybody was safe) was where the deserted hull of the German ship came to rest, just north of Hope's Nose, smack bang where it was proposed to create an artificial reef. Coincidence or what?