Axminster eyesore branded an asset

12:27 14 January 2014

Websters Garage can be demolished says East Devon’s Conservation team but the former Busy Bee florists shop to the right is an asset to the street scene, they claim, and should remain. Photo by Chris Carson

Websters Garage can be demolished says East Devon’s Conservation team but the former Busy Bee florists shop to the right is an asset to the street scene, they claim, and should remain. Photo by Chris Carson

Archant

Conservation team sparks fury after opposing demolition of former Busy Bee florists shop

Planning consultants are threatening to put the brakes on moves to finally rid Axminster of its biggest town centre eyesore.

While the district council’s conservation team is happy that Websters Garage is pulled down to make way for a temporary car park it says the neighbouring former Busy Bee florists shop should remain.

It claims the derelict building makes a “net positive contribution to the significance of the Conservation Area” and its demolition is considered an unacceptable part of the application.

The view was described as “astonishing” on Monday by the town council, which unanimously agreed to write and express its dismay that it could delay the long awaited redevelopment of the site.

Planning committee chairman Chris Scott said his members were “aghast” at the ruling.

“The majority of the population, let alone the council, thinks this is mad,” he said.

Mayor Jeremy Walden said the idea that the building had any architectural or historic merit was incredible.

Graham Barton, agent for the site owners, Hallmark Estates, said his clients were also angered by the conservation team’s view.

He said: “This standpoint could well result in a recommendation for refusal being put to the development management committee by the actual case planning officer if he follows his colleague’s lead.

“It’ll come as no surprise that we don’t think that No 9 (Busy Bee) brings anything that could be remotely described as at all worthy to the street scene. Quite the reverse, in fact. I can’t remember the last time I was in town and somebody didn’t come up and ask me to hurry up and knock it all down.

“Speaking as the son of a dentist when you’ve got a disintegrating tooth you don’t just leave it decaying to get even worse, you take it out, put on a temporary dressing and then attend to how best to permanently replace it.

“In exactly the same way we hope to substitute the Busy Bee building we see today with a short-term, more pleasing and useful answer to the blight that it brings to the street scene today and indeed the town generally, then in due course the full-on regeneration scheme for the whole site will follow.”

1 comment

  • What are they smoking over at the conservation teams office!!! Unbelievable have they ever even been to Axminster to look at the state of it recently,this defies believe disgraceful ...lost for words!!

    Report this comment

    Devongooner

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Other News Stories

Thursday, December 18, 2014
Exmouth Mayor Bill Nash hands over this years Mayors charity cheque to Helen Crossfield of The Samaritans. Ref exe 9996-50-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife.

Exmouth’s Christmas Cracker – and other events around the town – has raised more than £1,500 for the local branch of The Samaritans. Exmouth mayor, Councillor Bill Nash, presented Helen Crossfield, branch manager of Exeter, Mid and East Devon Samaritans, with a cheque at the town hall’s recent Christmas party.

Read more
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Show of Hands double bassist Miranda Sykes and mandolinist Rex Preston are one of the highlights of Otterton Mill's spring music season.

East Devon’s Otterton Mill has announced the line-up for its spring music season.

Read more
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Laser sailing boats.; Photo by Simon Horn Ref shsp 9302-34-10SH

It’s been a quiet time on the water lately for all at Exe Sailing Club, as the wind has not played ball, writes Rex Frost.

Read more
Monday, December 15, 2014
Football generic picture

Exeter City Football Club has announced that, owing to a variety of reasons, the need to secure a loan from the PFA to assist cash-flow over the short term will not now be necessary, writes Richard Dorman.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Photo Orders
Competitions
Subscriptions
Facebook
Family notices

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition
Honiton�s trusted business finder