Former care home to be turned into apartments

An application has been submitted to turn The Priory care home into nine apartments. CREDIT: Google

An application has been submitted to turn The Priory care home into nine apartments. CREDIT: Google Street View - Credit: Archant

Developers were given the green light by the district council.

A former Ottery care home will be converted into flats after the plans won approval from the district council.

Plans to convert The Priory, a Grade II listed building, were backed by East Devon District Council’s development management committee meeting on Tuesday.

Applicant Belfield Developments had wished to convert the premise on Paternoster Row, from its former use as a care home into eight apartments.

The committee heard that The Grade II listed property has historic significance and is considered a prominent feature in the street scene of Paternoster Row sitting opposite St Mary’s Church.

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EDDC development manager Chris Rose told councillors that the application proposed a viable use of the building while largely retaining the heritage asset’s aesthetic and group value.

He said: “While alterations to the north elevation and some of those internally would result in less than substantial harm to The Priory’s significance, this is balanced against the wider benefits from securing the longer term conservation and future of the building in viable use.

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“It is considered that the optimum use is residential and that the proposed development would facilitate the long term conservation of a Grade II listed building and its active role within the townscape.”

The Grade II listed Georgian building was built in 1719.

It was an independent school in the 1870s and over the centuries acted as the Kings Grammar School, the Ottery branch of the Royal British Legion and the town’s police station, court house and detention cells from 1949 to 1974. From 1978 until April 2017 it was used as a care home.

Murray Ross, agent for the applicants added: “This building is in desperate need of renovation and reoccupation. It is vital that a sympathetic use of the building is found without significant harm being caused, and this provides a valuable opportunity to deliver new homes on a brownfield site. “

Ottery district councillor Peter Faithfull called for the committee to go on a site visit and recommended it refused the plans due to the structural harm to the historic fabric of the building.

He also added that there were ‘false statements’ contained in the application documents that he was ‘furious’ about.

Councillors voted by nine votes to three, with one abstention, to approve the scheme.

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