Axminster eyesore branded an asset
- Credit: 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.
You may also want to watch:
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.
- 1 Runners take on 1,000km challenge in memory of Evelyn Tratt
- 2 Honiton mental health initiatives given funding boost
- 3 Quite a year for a Honiton auctioneers Chilcotts
- 4 Honiton Town Council freezes its share of council tax
- 5 'Let’s get out of the stranglehold this killer virus has had on our lives' by staying home
- 6 Devon Young Farmers discuss the challenges of farm succession
- 7 Football in support of mental health
- 8 New contractors to roll out fibre broadband across South West
- 9 Patients asked to stay away from Honiton Surgery
- 10 Deal struck on Cranbrook town centre
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.”