Knowle plans altered for historic folly

The Summerhouse in PegasusLife's plans for Knowle

The Summerhouse in PegasusLife's plans for Knowle - Credit: Archant

Plans for a retirement community at Knowle have been altered due to concerns about the impact on an historic listed property.

PegasusLife has amended its designs for Building E, at the south of the site, so it has a smaller footprint and the number of apartments contained reduced from 16 to 14 – lowering the overall number in the proposals from 115 to 113.

The changes ‘create a setting’ for the site’s 19th century summerhouse - with a wider terrace, new planting and additional space around it, ensuring views of the folly are retained.

Objectors have said the property should be protected.

PegasusLife’s new designs say: “Officers claim that the proximity and massing of Building E and its encroachment onto the terraces beyond the footprint of the existing building adversely alter the historic, formal relationship.

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“In particular, it is asserted that the partial loss of the terrace to the proposed development results in a diminished sense of space around the historic structure when viewed from the south, which is of concern.”

The PegasusLife report says there has been a ‘continual awareness’ of the need to keep a distance from the Summerhouse to allow visitors to enjoy the ‘unique’ feature independent of the development.

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It says the folly has been ruined and almost completely engulfed by vegetation.

East Devon District Council is relocating to Honiton and Exmouth. It has a conditional agreement to sell its HQ to PegasusLife for redevelopment - the remaining parkland is set to be transferred to Sidmouth Town Council.

The fate of the application is set to be decided by EDDC’s development management committee next month.

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