Cooper Court causes concern

PLANS for a village centre and retirement community in West Hill are causing concern among neighbours.

Nigel Hardy has submitted a planning application, yet to be validated, to East Devon District Council for 38 residential units, called Cooper Court, on a one hectare site opposite McColls, with a coffee shop and doctor’s surgery.

There will be three five-storey blocks of retirement apartments joined by three-storey linking blocks, plus terraced houses and detached houses.

Peter and Margaret Hall live in Greytops next door to the site, which they had built for their retirement.

Using the heights and sizes in the design and access statement, Mrs Hall calculated that apartment Block A would be 4.6m (more than 15ft) higher than the ridge height of their home.

She said: “The development wraps all the way around us, instead of looking out at trees and grass, we’ll be looking at Cooper Court. The effects on us would be horrendous in terms of overlooking and loss of privacy.”

She said the development was overbearing and out of character with the surroundings.

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Mr Hardy’s family owns the land, having moved to West Hill in 1977 then downsized to Whimple in 2005.

He said: “There are many senior people in West Hill who want to downsize and still remain in the community. They no longer need a large garden.

“This will provide a centre for villagers to meet in and open space for walking and will provide employment opportunities.

West Hill Resident’s Association chairman Dan Jelly said: “West Hill needs some smaller dwellings for people to move in to, because older people, especially if the are widows or widowers, find that their houses are now too big for them.

“This site seems a good position, but until something is published and we’ve collected residents’ opinions, it’s hard to judge.”