Proposals for apartments near Sidmouth's seafront approved

PUBLISHED: 12:30 07 October 2017

Plans for new homes have been submitted to the council.

Plans for new homes have been submitted to the council.

Archant

Plans to build a four-storey block of eight apartments near Sidmouth's seafront have been given the go-ahead.

The Herald previously reported how the flats at the Sidmouth Harbour Hotel, formerly the Westcliff, had been approved in principle in 2007 to bolster hotel’s viability and secure its future.

New revised proposals went before the East Devon District Council’s development management committee its latest meeting on Monday.

The main change saw the ground floor being brought forward by four metres towards Manor Road and a roof terrace, facing out to sea.

The scheme is made up of six apartments with two bedrooms and two with three bedrooms, including eight associated car parking spaces.

In the last few years, the owners have invested £4.5million in the hotel to drive tourism in region, this included an extension and a full refurbishment programme that resulted in an additional luxury spa, restaurant, an extensive outdoor terrace and heated outdoor pool.

Recommending approval, officers said the principle of the apartment block was already ‘firmly established’.

The developments closest neighbour Michael Page spoke at the meeting. He said the scheme was ‘wholly unwelcome’ and would ‘damage Sidmouth’s iconic seascape’.

He added the designs were ‘unworthy’ and would ‘seriously damage’ the setting and added the upper flats would have a ‘bird’s-eye view’ of his home.

Speaking on behalf of the hotel, David Jobbins said the development was around 15 metres away from its closest neighbour and that was not that different from the granted scheme.

He added: “We are proposing a difference design to that which already has consent.

It is both lower in height and a reduced in width and therefore its steps back from Peak Hill Road so therefore in fact has a lesser impact on the street scene.”

Councillor John Dyson, who lives quite close to the development, said: “I think the development will be good for the town and it one of the few areas where a development could take place in the town.

“I have great sympathy for Mr and Mrs Page but I think time will heal the present concerns.”

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