Town planners back bid to build new art studio in Honiton

PUBLISHED: 11:00 09 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:31 11 May 2018

The north-west elevation (top) and south-east elevation (bottom) of the proposed art studio.

The north-west elevation (top) and south-east elevation (bottom) of the proposed art studio.

Archant

A bid to build a new art studio near a former education hub in Honiton has been supported by town planners.

The floor plan of the proposed art studio in Cuckoo Down Lane, Honiton.The floor plan of the proposed art studio in Cuckoo Down Lane, Honiton.

The scheme would see the one-story studio be built behind the existing Old Pavilion, in Cuckoo Down Lane, and more parking spaces created.

Currently, the pavilion is used to host art classes and courses.

Applicants Mr G and Mrs M Wilmot said they want to expand their business to attract more students across the UK.

Their application also seeks permission for a field adjacent to the site, termed as the Solar Panel Field, to be used for camping for students at the studio.

Drawings showing where the proposed art studio would be built.Drawings showing where the proposed art studio would be built.

Town councillors signalled their support for the scheme, but agreed conditions they would like to be enforced should the application be signed off by district planners.

At Honiton Town Council’s planning committee meeting on Tuesday, Councillor Jill McNally said she thought the proposal was a good idea, but still had a ‘niggling worry’ about camping at the site.

She said: “What I am worried about is that it will grow, or we will have motorhomes and it will be a holiday-type of camping site.

“But I think I’ve been reassured by our site visit. My other niggling worry is it is on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

Cllr John Zarczynski said he believed the camping would be restricted and he liked the design of the proposed studio.

He added: “It is not as if we are putting up some grand design that would be totally out of character for the area.

“I believe we should support this and not discourage it because it serves a good purpose.”

The plans have been submitted almost six months since an application, also submitted by the Wilmots, to transform the pavilion into a wedding venue was thrown out.

The pavilion was used in association with Manor House School, which closed in 2010.

Planners unanimously supported the application with the following conditions:

• Parking and camping is restricted to users of the studio, and course attendees;

• Any motorhomes remain in the car park;

• Camping on the field is by tent only.

Planners at East Devon District Council will make a decision on the plans at a future meeting.

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