39 flat development at Green Close rejected by planning committee

Churchill Retirement Living plans to demolish the former Green Close care home and build 39 apartmen

Churchill Retirement Living plans to demolish the former Green Close care home and build 39 apartments - Credit: Archant

Plans to demolish a former Sidford care home and replace it with 39 sheltered accommodation flat development has been rejected.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) development management committee voted today to support officers’ recommendations to refuse the application as it’s affordable housing offer was not police compliant and ‘unacceptable’.

Churchill Retirement Living submitted a new application for the Green Close site to build 39 one- and two-bedroom apartments - the previous scheme was made up of 36.

The scheme includes communal facilities, landscaping, parking for 25 vehicles, and access to the Drakes Avenue site.

Churchill’s previous application, submitted in August 2017, was thrown out by a government planning inspector. Churchill had appealed following EDDC’s non-determination of its proposals for the former 23-bed care home in Sidford.

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An EDDC planning officer recommended the latest application be refused as it still did not include ‘an adequate amount of affordable housing’ or a ‘provision of an overage clause’.

The applicant amended its proposals before today’s meeting to increase its financial contribution towards affordable housing by £200,000 to £654,870.

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It also offered to ensure works are commenced within six months of permission given on the basis a Vacant Building Credit (VBC) and no overage clause would be applied.

The applicant said it wished to avoid an overage clause as it wants to keep its costs ‘private and confidential’ and out of the public domain, where their competitors may be able to use them to seek an advantage.

The Green Close care home was built in 1971 but closed in 2014 due to Devon County Council cutbacks.

See more in this week’s paper.

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