Plans to transform Honiton education hub into wedding venue rejected

PUBLISHED: 14:30 07 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:35 07 November 2017

Plans detailing the transformation of the Old Pavilion in Honiton.

Plans detailing the transformation of the Old Pavilion in Honiton.

Archant

Mr and Mrs G Wilmot had submitted the change of use plans for the Old Pavilion, in Cuckoo Down Lane, to East Devon District Council planners.

Plans to transform a Honiton-based education hub into a wedding venue have been rejected.

Mr and Mrs G Wilmot had submitted the change of use plans for the Old Pavilion, in Cuckoo Down Lane, to East Devon District Council planners.

The building was used in association with Manor House School, which closed in 2010, and continues to host art classes.

The applicants said: “Planning permission is sought for the change of use of the existing pavilion building and recreational land around the building for us in conjunction with wedding ceremonies.

“The events would take place at weekends between the beginning of May and end of September each year.”

The proposed scheme also saw camping offered to visitors, who would arrive on Friday, enjoy the wedding celebrations ‘on or off site’ on the Saturday, and leave by Sunday evening.

Under the proposed plans, the education use of the building and grounds for art and design classes would have continued and the recreation grounds would have remained available for use by local sports groups.

However, district planners opted to reject the plans at a recent meeting.

In a decision notice, the council said: “The use of the old pavilion and associated land or education events and weddings would result in the loss of an existing playing field.

“As such the proposal would result in the loss of an important community resource in conflict with the policy requirement which seeks the retention of land for sport and recreation for the benefit of the local community.

“Accordingly the proposal would not fulfil the social dimensions and thus does not constitute sustainable development.”

The East Devon Playing Pitch Strategy 2015 identified a significant shortfall of sports pitches in Honiton to meet current and future demands.

In 2017, the district council adopted the Honiton Sports Pitch Strategy to assess and recommend options for meeting the shortfall.

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 temportary solution for sports pitched in Gobniton usable by any of the town’s sports clubs.

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