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Although an historic town, with a colourful past, Bovey Tracey does not rest on its history. The Parish of Bovey Tracey and Heathfield is an active and thriving Parish, proactive in its approach to new opportunities for residents, visitors and businesses alike. The Town Council is currently, and has been over many years, active in supporting and promoting a wide range of community projects, charities and organisations within the Parish.
The Town Council has set up a Parish Plan Steering Committee to produce a Parish Plan for the future development of Bovey Tracey and Heathfield. The Parish Plan will be a summary of the main issues people of all ages are concerned about in the parish – most importantly - all identified by the people of the parish. Over the past few months there have been public meetings & exhibitions, a survey of the Parish electoral roll, meetings with local clubs, organisations & societies and discussions with young people.
Some of the main issues identified include housing needs, facilities for young people, the local environment, public transport, policing, social problems and community facilities. The next phase will be the production in the autumn of the Parish Plan with an Action Plan, which will involve a further series of open meetings and consultations with local businesses.
Outside the Town Council there are a number of important projects happening, in which the Town Council has been involved either directly or in a supporting role. The Riverside Mill houses the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, a popular and expanding organisation promoting excellence and nurturing new skills in crafts including ceramics, glass, leather, silver, wood etc. The Guild, successful in its fundraising, now plans some exciting and innovative extensions and improvements to the Riverside Mill. When complete in 2004, the Riverside Mill will house the largest collection of contemporary crafts in the West Country.
The plans for the long awaited footbridge over the River Bovey from Station Road car park to the Riverside Mill have progressed and it is hoped that the bridge can be finally completed to coincide with the Riverside Mill development. The Information Centre Trust’s plans for permanent premises in Station Road car park are also underway, and the Information Centre could be open all year round to increase services to residents and visitors. The Bovey Tracey Town Guide recently published by the Information Centre has been a welcome addition to advertising the Town and surrounding areas.
The first stage of the enhancement to Bovey Tracey’s Town Centre at Dolphin Square was completed in early 2003 and has proved a popular scheme by controlling the traffic flow and adding to the improvements to this area of Bovey Tracey. The next stage will involve a Public Exhibition by Devon County Council in October to consult with residents in relation to the next stage of road improvements to Station Road and Fore Street, Bovey Tracey.
Devon Wildlife Trust, with help from English Nature and Teignbridge District Council has now taken over the conservation of Bovey Heathfield. This has been the setting for a Civil War Battle and is currently a site of a Scheduled Monument and is an important protected wildlife habitat. The rare plants and wildlife that has clung so precariously to life over the past years will now have all the support and encouragement to once again thrive, making Bovey Heathfield Nature Reserve a wonderful place to visit and enjoy.
The Bovey Tracey Community Centre Trust continues to explore funding avenues and feasibility studies to enable the long awaited Community Centre to become a reality and a much-needed facility in the area. The building of the new Community Centre and Primary School at Heathfield is imminent and upon completion will provide excellent and much needed improved community facilities for all resident in this area of the Parish.
The Old School Guest House