‘Major changes’ to Knowle proposals

PegasusLife's plans for an orangery at Knowle

PegasusLife's plans for an orangery at Knowle - Credit: Archant

Plans have been formally submitted to build a 115-home retirement community at Knowle - with the developer saying it has made ‘major changes’ to its original vision.

PegasusLife’s proposals for the 4.6-acre site follow two public exhibitions and the firm has vowed it is committed to further public involvement.

It says the number of homes for over-60s has fallen from 126 and the designs have changed to be more ‘in keeping’ with Sidmouth’s architecture.

Emma Webster, the developer’s public policy manager, said: “PegasusLife is committed to consulting with the local community and other interested parties throughout the development of its proposals for Knowle. The purpose of the pre-application consultation was to invite feedback on the draft plans for the site from all interested parties and respond to the feedback received to the greatest extent possible.

“A number of major changes have been made to the proposed development during the public consultation process. Originally, the proposals were for 126 homes in a modern, flat-roofed development.

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“As a result of the feedback received during our first and second exhibitions, the number of homes has been reduced to 115 and the design of the development has been altered to include pitched roofs and an architectural style more in keeping with Sidmouth.

“PegasusLife has ongoing meetings with local residents and will continue to work with local residents and community groups.”

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Under the plans, the 19th century former Knowle Hotel and 1970s offices will be demolished – with the exception of the listed Caretaker’s Cottage – to make way for the new properties.

A restaurant and gym facilities also feature, both of which would be open to the public.

The number of houses is more than double the 50 allocated for the site in the Local Plan.

PegasusLife has signed up to buy East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) HQ for between £7million and £8million.

If approved, the development will help fund the authority’s proposed relocation to Exmouth Town Hall and a new-build property at Honiton’s Heathpark.

Residents can have their say on the application on EDDC’s planning website.

The remaining parkland will remain in public ownership and negotiations are under way on its transfer to Sidmouth Town Council.

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