Fresh evidence to be considered in Knowle 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

Developer argues 113-home retirement community will result in little loss of light

Planning chiefs are staging an extraordinary meeting to consider fresh evidence in a developer’s bid to create a 113-home retirement community at Knowle.

PegasusLife has submitted further information about the impact on loss of light from its proposals on neighbouring properties, which was one of the reasons why East Devon District Council (EDDC) refused the scheme last December.

The developer’s appeal against the decision will be heard by the Planning Inspectorate next month.

EDDC’s planning officers are now recommending that the council no longer defends the refusal of planning permission on the grounds of loss of light to neighbouring properties.

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If agreed by the development management committee (DMC) at its special meeting on Tuesday, October 10, the council will continue to defend the planning permission refusal for the other reasons relating to:

• the overly dominant impact of the development;

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• the visually overbearing impact; loss of privacy to neighbouring occupiers;

• that the proposal would not be a residential institution (C2 use) and is not exempt from providing affordable housing, and

• that the proposed development would have a harmful impact on the setting of the listed summerhouse.

DMC chairman Councillor Mike Howe said: “I appreciate how sensitive the redevelopment of Knowle is to Sidmouth and particularly to the residents that live around the site.

“It is therefore important that the community, and the owners of neighbouring properties who are most affected by this proposed change to the reasons for refusal, have adequate time to consider the report on the issue of loss of light and hear the matter being debated by committee members.

“This is why a special meeting of the committee has been called to consider this issue.”

The DMC agenda says PegasusLife submitted evidence that there will be little impact on Knowle Drive property Hillcrest in terms of daylight or sunlight, and that EDDC officers do not disagree with its conclusions.

The appeal is due to be heard at a five-day public inquiry which starts on November 28 at Knowle.

If approved, PegasusLife has agreed to pay EDDC £7.505million for the site of its current HQ.

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