Inspector upholds East Devon planning committee’s decsision to refuse Cedar Gardens roadside development

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Residents in Axminster are celebrating victory in the latest round of their long-running battle to halt a town centre housing development.

A government inspector has upheld a decision not to allow homes to be built on land fronting Cedar Gardens, in Musbury Road.

The application from Justin Werb, of Shute-based Berkley Park, Cedar Ltd, was to build two new houses and two flats and make alterations to the existing parking and communal areas and convert two existing flats into a single two-bed dwelling.

There was massive local opposition to the proposal – the second bid to develop this site – and it was rejected earlier this year after East Devon planners took along a pole to show how high the proposed buildings would be.

Following their decision Mr Werb lodged an appeal which has now been dismissed by inspector John Allen.

He ruled the proposed roadside development would be out of keeping with the current street scene and he said residents opposite, in Penny’s Terrace, would be overlooked.

His report continued: Although the proposal would be domestic in scale it would offer a strong sense of enclosure directly opposite Penny’s Terrace and in significant proximity to it.

“This would materially alter the outlook from the opposing properties in a manner that would appear overbearing and unduly oppressive.

“I find the opposing windows, especially at first floor level between bedrooms, would also give rise to unacceptable levels of overlooking falling below any levels of privacy that both existing and future occupiers of the proposed development might reasonably expect to enjoy.”

Mr Allen concluded: ”I find that the proposal would be harmful to the character and appearance of the area and the living conditions of both nearby existing occupiers and future occupiers of the development.”

Welcoming the decision local ward councillor Douglas Hull said: “I am delighted on behalf of the residents and the people in Penny’s Terrace opposite, who looked forward to a bleak future if that scheme was allowed.

“I would now appeal to the owner to tidy up the place. People paid a lot of money to have their gardens kept up to a proper standard but now it is shambolic - a disgrace to that part of town.”

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