Plans for five homes on ‘dilapidated’ Sidford site


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Industrial buildings in Sidford that have not sold despite ‘continual marketing’ could be demolished and replaced with five houses if approval is granted.

Plans for the old sail laundry and related workshops in Laundry Lane say potential buyers have been put off by the site’s lack of planning permission as refurbishment would be too costly.

Two previous applications were refused because the site was outside of Sidford’s built-up area boundary – but following adoption of the East Devon Local Plan, the ‘brownfield’ land now sits within that zone. The area was increased to accommodate 12 acres of employment land to the north of Sidford.

The application proposes ‘reclamation’ of the ‘redundant’ Laundry Lane site through the removal of the existing commercial and industrial structures that are all ‘suffering increasing dilapidation’.

If approved, the use would then be converted to residential, so a pair of three or four-bedroom semi-detached homes could be built, plus three larger detached four or five-bed houses, with associated parking.

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Plans say the applicant is open to agreeing an ‘alternative form and/or density of development’, if it suits district council planning bosses.

The application includes a letter to the applicant from Seddons estate agents confirming that the property has continually been marketed – but anyone interested had been put off by the fact planning permission had been turned down.

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It reads: “The property generated good interest, but when enquirers dug deeper into the condition and the location and discovered that planning for residential development had been declined, interest dissolved.

“The comments were basically that, even if the property were bought free of charge, the work required to make the site usable and in safe condition would make it too expensive when compared to a more modern, purpose-built property.”

The previous refusals of planning permission also raised concerns about potential flooding but the new application contends there is ‘no genuine risk’.

It adds that residential redevelopment would bring into conformity with neighbouring premises and there is a strong need for the swift of new homes on windfall sites. East Devon District Council will decide the fate of the application.

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