Submissions entered in Knowle planning appeal
- Credit: Archant
Pegasus Life has appealed against the decision to refuse planning permission to redevelop East Devon District Council’s HQ.
Appeal documents published this week reveal the continued strength of feeling against redevelopment plans for Knowle – with claims Sidmouth would be dealt a ‘devastating blow’.
PegasusLife has taken landowner East Devon District Council’s decision to refuse its scheme to the Planning Inspectorate.
In emotional submissions, residents said the developer’s proposals for 113 retirement flats ‘run a coach and horses’ over the site’s 50-home allocation in the Local Plan and would create an ‘elderly ghetto’.
Organisations including Sidmouth Arboretum, the Vision Group for Sidmouth, and the Knowle Residents’ Association have also responded to reiterate their calls for the application to be thrown out.
You may also want to watch:
The Sid Vale Association said: “PegasusLife has clearly done its utmost to maximise the development on the site for commercial reasons.
“The appeal should be refused on the grounds that it seeks more than double the number of dwellings earmarked in the Local Plan; that it proposes buildings of a poor architectural design, and that its impacts on nearby residents and on the public parkland are unacceptable.”
- 1 Sad passing of Seaton Bowling Club President
- 2 Honiton's new town clerk 'will try to make a difference'
- 3 'It’s amazing how much you take for granted and how much we have to be grateful for'
- 4 'Follow the spirit of the lockdown restrictions'
- 5 £40,000 to support local groups hit hard by Covid-19 crisis
- 6 Westpoint one of two news venues to be used for vaccine roll out
- 7 Runners take on 1,000km challenge in memory of Evelyn Tratt
- 8 Hospiscare charity will hold virtual recruitment fair
- 9 Road works start to enhance access to Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone
- 10 Honiton Town Council freezes its share of council tax
Liz Fuller, the buildings at risk officer at SAVE Britain’s Heritage, restated its strong objection to the proposals, saying they represented a ‘devastating blow’ to the history and character of Sidmouth.
Knowle Drive resident Robin Fuller said: “If, at the first major test of the Local Plan, a developer succeeds in turning over its objectives by a huge margin, then the process of local planning is null and void and local democracy can be considered dead and buried.
“Approval on appeal will set a precedent for other developments to run a coach and horses through the intentions of the plan.”
PegasusLife said its scheme will only ‘materially impact’ Hillcrest and its amenity will not be adversely affected.
Homeowners Rob and Sandra Whittle challenged this, adding: “It is crucial that the planning inspector make an internal visit to Hillcrest to understand the negative impact on our home and appreciate what a permanently devastating blow this development in its present form would have on our lives.”
Submissions said 20 homes besides Hillcrest, in Knowle Drive and Broadway, would be adversely affected.
George and Ann Ellis live in Knowle Drive but were in support of the appeal. They said: “Although parts of the development will have some effect on us we feel that these will not be too much of an inconvenience in what to us seems an otherwise satisfactory and necessary scheme. We are very conscious that there is a great need for more housing in the UK with a growing and ageing population.
“Sidmouth is a very popular retirement location and there now appear to be few sites for development – hence the suitability of Knowle.
“There is a big demand for older people to downsize and the benefit of this is that more properties are freed up for younger families.”
EDDC’s development management committee defied officer advice to refuse the scheme last December – arguing it represented a departure from Knowle’s 50-home allocation in the Local Plan. Members also objected to the scale, height, bulk and massing of the proposed development.
At the appeal, PegasusLife will argue the scheme is ‘thoughtful and considered’, its benefits outweigh any potential harm to the listed summerhouse and there is a ‘compelling need’ for extra care accommodation in East Devon.
The deal is worth £7.505million to EDDC, which is relocating to Exmouth and Honiton.
The inquiry will open at 10am on Tuesday, November 28.