Elderly Sidmouth woman fears her home will fall down if planning application is given go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 08:47 11 July 2018

Woolcombe Cottage on Chandlers Lane, Sidmouth. Ref shs 28 18TI 7598. Picture: Terry Ife

Woolcombe Cottage on Chandlers Lane, Sidmouth. Ref shs 28 18TI 7598. Picture: Terry Ife

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An elderly woman fears that her house could fall down if plans for an adjoining property are approved.

Woolcombe Cottage on Chandlers Lane, Sidmouth. Ref shs 28 18TI 7598. Picture: Terry Ife Woolcombe Cottage on Chandlers Lane, Sidmouth. Ref shs 28 18TI 7598. Picture: Terry Ife

Plans for a two-storey, three-bedroom house on the corner of Woolcombe Lane and Chandlers Lane in Sidmouth were recommended for approval when it went before East Devon District Council’s Development Management Committee on Tuesday.

Mrs Newton, who lives in Woolcombe Cottage - built in the 1800s, spoke against the scheme and said that if the plans were approved it would leave her house at risk of falling down or subsiding as it did not have the benefit of modern foundations.

The new house would be built to leave a gap of approximately six inches or less between the two homes.

Mrs Newton said that anything built close to her house would cause her property to subside and devalue it. She added: “How would any of you feel if someone wanted to build right next to your house? You need to see the site and my concerns should be taken under consideration. My late husband, a builder, said anything build right next to the house could cause it to collapse, so are you willing to do that?”

Woolcombe Cottage on Chandlers Lane, Sidmouth. Ref shs 28 18TI 7596. Picture: Terry Ife Woolcombe Cottage on Chandlers Lane, Sidmouth. Ref shs 28 18TI 7596. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Town Councillor Kevin Dent said they were not opposed to the redevelopment of the site and a well-designed application would improve it.

But they were unhappy about the loss of part of the flint wall and was concerned about the stability of the cottage being damaged by the development. Cllr Dent added: “It would be far preferable to refuse this application than approve this and have an antisocial element and dispute between neighbours over how close the new property is.”

Cllr Marianne Rixson said: “This is overdevelopment and the property shouldn’t be adjoined to the neighbouring property and affect the amenity of it. It is a minor application but it will have a major impact on Mrs Newton.”

Planning officers, Chris Rose said: “The neighbour has raised concerns about the ability to maintain her property which adjoins the site. This though is a civil matter and concerns about the construction of the dwelling would be handled in accordance with the requirements of the Party Wall Act. It falls outside the remit of the planning process.”

Woolcombe Cottage on Chandlers Lane, Sidmouth. Ref shs 28 18TI 7597. Picture: Terry Ife Woolcombe Cottage on Chandlers Lane, Sidmouth. Ref shs 28 18TI 7597. Picture: Terry Ife

The application was deferred for a site visit.

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