Residents fighting to save Honiton’s history

Historic homes earmarked for demolition by developer.

Opposition is mounting over plans to demolish two historic properties in Honiton to make way for retirement flats.

A desperate bid is being made to list Holyshute House and former toll-house Holyshute Cottage, in Monkton Road - as Churchill Retirement Living prepares to submit a planning application to develop 41 flats on the site.

A pre-application exhibition, staged by contractors working for the developer, in the Mackarness Hall failed to win local support for the project.

Now Monkton Road residents say they are gearing up to fight the plan and Honiton Town Council has submitted an application to English Heritage to list both properties.

Resident Andy Bricknell is objecting to the proposal on access, parking and heritage grounds.

“Holyshute House is one of Honiton’s most beautiful homes,” he said.

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“Only 14 parking spaces are proposed for 41 flats, with an entrance in Langford Road.

“As well as the occupants of the 41 flats, there will be visitors, deliveries and possibly ambulances using the access. The volume of traffic is going to increase.”

His wife, Tina, said: “You can be waiting a good five minutes as it is to get out of Langford Road onto Monkton Road and the pedestrian crossing in Monkton Road has not slowed traffic, which includes articulated lorries.”

Campaigners claim the development will increase pollution in an Air Quality Management Area, increase safety hazards and could affect trade in the east end of Honiton.

“We want to make people aware that, potentially, these two buildings are going to be lost,” said Mr Bricknell.

Resident Sarah-Jane Bowley said: “I’ve got the usual concerns - parking and the loss of history.”

Sharon Chester, another resident, said: “There are other things the developer could look at before ripping down the town’s history.”

Margaret Lewis, curator of Allhallows Museum in Honiton, said: “I am surprised these buildings are not already listed. It would be a shame to demolish them.”

Planning Issues Limited, the architects working for Churchill Retirement Living, said: “The design provides a pleasant and safe environment for the prospective owners, as well as making a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the local area.

“The proposed development of a part two, three and part four storey dormered residential apartments for the elderly will ensure that the site is secured with a neighbourly form of development.”