Debate about disabled access

PUBLISHED: 07:46 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 15 June 2010

AFTER winning a planning appeal to build a third property on land behind the Star Inn, Honiton, KMC Construction Limited is now seeking to develop the building as two flats instead of one dwelling.

AFTER winning a planning appeal to build a third property on land behind the Star Inn, Honiton, KMC Construction Limited is now seeking to develop the building as two flats instead of one dwelling.Disabled access to the properties is high on the builder's list of priorities, but town councillors have expressed concern about the pedestrian-only access nature of the development.They fear access for the disabled will be significantly curtailed in King Street, particularly at times when gated retail developments at Black Lion Court and Kings Court are locked."We are talking about disabled access. Is that really a suitable site, in view of the lack of a pavement?" asked Councillor Roy Coombs.Addressing a meeting of Honiton Town Council's planning committee last Tuesday, Councillor Coombs claimed the location would limit the mobility of a disabled resident. "It would unnecessarily limit their mobility," he said.It was suggested a disabled resident could come to a private arrangement with the owner of one of the shopping centres, so they could have keys to unlock the gates.Councillor Vernon Whitlock, the mayor of Honiton, asked: "If we were opposed to this development in the first place, are we now changing our minds?"Councillors had to accept the decision of the Planning Inspectorate, Councillor Vivienne Ash told the meeting.The committee recommended the flats plan for approval, but expressed disappointment that its earlier objections had not been dealt with.Councillor Michael Teare, the committee's chairman, said disabled access was to be provided to the ground floor flat via French doors.

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