No to Dove window bid

A BID to brick up two windows on Sidmouth s Dove Gaming centre has been rejected by district council planners, who deemed it a drastic solution to solve an ordinary problem.

A BID to "brick up" two windows on Sidmouth's Dove Gaming centre has been rejected by district council planners, who deemed it a "drastic solution to solve an ordinary problem."

Plans to permanently block two ground-floor windows in Dove Lane, which sits in a conservation area, had been recommended for approval by an East Devon District Council planning officer.

However the proposal, submitted to fulfil a licensing condition so children are not "invited" to observe gambling taking place inside, fell foul of development control committee members last week.

Councillors labelled the initial recommendation "a gross oversight" which wasn't in-keeping with the area's "traditional character."

While members praised Dove owner George Symonds for "smartening up a dilapidated property" they felt permanently blocking the windows would make Dove Lane "look worse" and urged him to "find a screening alternative".

Cllr Chris Gibbins, chairman of Sidmouth town council's planning committee, told members: "Windows need to be retained so we don't get the tunnel affect of walls in an alley way- you would think twice about going there. That's not want we want in a conservation area."

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Cllr Ann Liverton described the alleyway as a "dismal local street" and saw no problem with the plans.

Cllr Mike Green felt retaining the windows was "quite important" and said: "To block them up you will make it even more dismal. Conservation areas are made up of certain features-every one you take away is one lost.

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