Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Businessman pulls plug on housing development to sell building to Sidmouth charity

PUBLISHED: 17:22 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:32 06 November 2017

Ian Barlow handing over the keys of the old Sidford surgery to Barry Lowden, the chairman of Sidmouth Hospiscare along with Mary King and Gill Ryall. Ref shs 44 17TI 2983. Picture: Terry Ife

Ian Barlow handing over the keys of the old Sidford surgery to Barry Lowden, the chairman of Sidmouth Hospiscare along with Mary King and Gill Ryall. Ref shs 44 17TI 2983. Picture: Terry Ife


Sidmouth Hospiscare is set to expand its services in the Sid Valley after striking a deal to buy the old Sidford Surgery.

Bulldozers were just days away from demolishing the building in September to make way for six new homes.

Planning permission for the site in Church Street was granted in August, but following a chance meeting with Hospiscare CEO Dr Gill Ryall, businessman Ian Barlow pulled the plug on his development after learning of the charity’s need for new premises.

Now, it will look to develop the site itself, with extended services to include a day centre offering respite, complementary therapies, counselling and education services.

The charity had been searching fruitlessly for six months for new premises to enable it to continue to meet the demands of supporting the Sid Valley’s growing aging population.

It had even considered the potential for a new base at Port Royal, and Dr Ryall and Mr Barlow met at a 3 R meeting to discuss the development, which led Mr Barlow to offer the surgery as a potential site.

Hospiscare voted to buy the premises at an extraordinary meeting, just three days before demolition was set to start.

Mr Barlow said: “This is the future; if we want the hospital to be free for emergency care we need to provide care in the community.

“We were talking on the phone about what was needed, why they needed to be in the centre of the town and could they justify purchasing some of the most expensive real estate in the town [in the Port Royal development].

“Gill made it clear what they were looking for and what they needed, it had to have treatment rooms and space for more nurses and I said – why aren’t you buying Sidford Surgery?”

Dr Barry Lowden, chairman of Sidmouth Hospiscare, said: “I thought it was a generous gesture by Ian, both to us and to the local community in enabling us to purchase a building at a reasonable price as we seek to extend our services over the next few years. “I do think it was incredible that we had an extraordinary meeting on the Friday, made the decision to purchase the property and he called the bulldozers off which were coming in on Monday. The timing was perfect.”

Find out more about the plans on page 20.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:30

A young Sidmouth mum undergoing chemotherapy wanted to raise a bit of money for a charity that has supported her – but she has been ‘overwhelmed’ to see the total soar to more than £2,000.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

A Christmas Day meal bringing isolated members of the community together in Sidmouth will be boosted by a festive fundraiser tomorrow (Saturday).

Read more
Yesterday, 08:23

A Sidmouth couple whose love blossomed at the bank are celebrating 70 years of marriage today (Friday), a matter of days after the Queen and Prince Philip marked the same anniversary.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

A Londoner who has never been the victim of a crime in the capital was left shocked and bloody after an alleged ‘unprovoked’ attack in Sidmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

The five-day planning inquiry to decide the fate of a bid to build a 113-home retirement community at Knowle will begin on Tuesday (November 28).

Read more
Thu, 17:16

The first Crime and Safety Roadshow took place in Sidmouth this week.

Read more
Thu, 13:00

A concert featuring an orchestra made up of 70 members from across the South West will be held in aid of Sidmouth Hospiscare.

Read more
Thu, 12:16

Thousands of pounds have been awarded to a new trailblazing help service.

Read more
Thu, 09:47

A trapped toddler, who got locked in a car, helped firefighter with his own escape.

Read more
Thu, 09:09

An event organiser who has helped to bring some of the country’s biggest authors to Sidmouth is stepping down after more than a decade in charge.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 5°C

min temp: 1°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder


Show Job Lists

Find planning applications