Deadline looms on developer’s Knowle planning appeal

EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Residents have until Wednesday (September 6) to make their representations after a developer appealed the refusal of its plans for a 113-home retirement community at Knowle.

PegasusLife’s proposals for the site of East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) current HQ were denied permission last year.

The Planning Inspectorate’s five-day inquiry to hear the appeal is set to open on November 28. It is not clear when a decision will be reached.

EDDC’s development management committee defied officer advice to refuse the scheme – arguing it represents a departure from Knowle’s 50-home allocation in the authority’s Local Plan.

Members also objected to the scale, height, bulk and massing of the proposed development. The developer has set out its arguments for the inquiry and will say it is ‘thoughtful and considered’.

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EDDC said the development would result in a loss of light and privacy for adjoining properties, although PegasusLife says it will only ‘materially impact’ Hillcrest.

It will claim the development will not have a direct impact on Knowle’s listed summerhouse and that the scheme’s benefits outweigh any potential harm to it.

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There was also a dispute with EDDC about whether the scheme should be classed as C2, care accommodation, or C3, housing, and PegasusLife will maintain that it should be the former. If the planning inspector agrees, it will not need to provide any ‘affordable’ housing or community funding for the town.

PegasusLife will argue that there is a ‘compelling need’ for extra care accommodation in East Devon. It says the development will be tailored to meet the needs of occupants as they age, with on-site communal facilities.

Under the proposals, there will also be a compulsory healthcare needs package for all residents, and an age restriction on the properties so at least one occupant is aged over 60.

The deal with PegasusLife is worth £7.505million to EDDC, subject to planning permission, although councillors have voted to press ahead with the authority’s £10million relocation to Exmouth and Honiton before any payment is made.

Comments on the application can be made at with appeal code 3177340.

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