District council hopes to complete move to Honiton by December 2018

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:32 30 January 2018

PegasusLife's plans for Knowle

PegasusLife's plans for Knowle

Archant

The news comes after the Planning Inspector allowed PegasusLife's proposals for the development of EDDC's headquarters as an extra care retirement home to go ahead.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) says its relocation to Honiton is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year.

The news comes after the Planning Inspector allowed PegasusLife’s proposals for the development of EDDC’s headquarters as an extra care retirement home to go ahead.

In granting planning permission for the development, Planning Inspector Michael Boniface said: “It would not harm the character and appearance of the area, neighbours’ living conditions or the setting of the adjacent Grade II listed summerhouse.

“The proposal is in accordance with the development plan, taken as a whole, and should be granted planning permission.”

The inspector’s decision on the Knowle site is another step forward in the council’s plans to relocate to Honiton - with an envisaged move date of November/December 2018.

Cllr Mike Howe, chairman of East Devon’s Development Management Committee, said: “I know that the officers involved and the specialist support that was brought in especially to fight this appeal put forward the best case they could.

“The local residents also put a massive amount of effort into their submissions and the questions they asked of the witnesses at the inquiry.”

The council’s Development Management Committee had previously refused planning permission for the development, raising concerns about the scale and massing of the proposed design and its impact on the character and appearance of the area and the amenity of neighbouring properties.

Other concerns included the impact on the setting of the listed summerhouse within the grounds of Knowle and also whether the development provided a sufficient level of care on site to be considered a Care Home (C2 use) as opposed to a general residential use (C3).

The Inspector considered that while the contemporary design of the building was not typical of Sidmouth, it did reflect elements of the town’s Georgian architecture in some of the materials used and was appropriate for the location.

He stated that it would not harm the building, its setting and that any features of special architectural or historic interest (including the listed summerhouse) would be preserved.

Mark Williams, EDDC’s chief executive officer, said: “The Inspector accepted the many benefits that will come to Sidmouth as a result of the proposals put forward by Pegasus and it is clear that the site will be well looked after in their hands.”

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