Art studio could be built near former Honiton education hub

PUBLISHED: 14:06 02 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:10 02 May 2018

Drawings showing where the proposed art studio would be built.

Drawings showing where the proposed art studio would be built.

Archant

Plans have been lodged to expand a successful art business by building a new studio close to a former Honiton education hub.

Plans have been lodged to expand a successful art business by building a new studio close to a former Honiton education hub.

Mr G and Mrs M Wilmot have submitted an application to district planners for the new facility, which would be built behind the Old Pavilion, in Cuckoo Down Lane.

The plans also propose use of adjacent land - known as the Solar Panel Field - for camping.

The applicants say they want to expand their business to attract more students across the UK.

The pavilion was used in association with Manor House School, which closed in 2010.

In their application, the Wilmots said: “Since the closure of the school, the pavilion has been used for education purposes for the provision of art classes and three-day courses running throughout the year, which continue to date.”

It adds: “Planning permission is now sought to construct a new art studio building to the northwest of and behind the existing pavilion.”

The plans have been submitted almost six months since an application, also submitted by the Wilmots, to transform the pavilion into a wedding venue was thrown out.

At the time, planners voiced concerns that the proposal would result in the loss of an existing playing field. The East Devon Playing Pitch Strategy 2015 identified a significant shortfall of sports pitches in Honiton to meet current and future demands.

The former Manor House School site has been deemed unsuitable for the long-term permanent location of sports pitches to meet the needs of Honiton. However, the strategy advises it should be considered as a temporary solution for sports pitched in Honiton usable by any of the town’s sports clubs.

The Wilmot’s new application said little sports use has been carried out at the playing field since 2010 - but costs of around £7,000 have had to be paid for the maintenance of the pavilion and upkeep of the field.

It added it is intended to use the Solar Panel Field for camping to accommodate students attending art courses at the site.

The classes were first taught by Mary Ann Wilmot in her studio at Cuckoo Down House in 2006, before they moved to the Old Pavilion in 2012.

East Devon’s development management committee will decide the application’s fate.

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