Proposals to convert school rooms into Sidmouth flats backed by town council

Sidmouth URC Church. Ref shs 01-16SH URC Church-0632. Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth URC Church. Ref shs 01-16SH URC Church-0632. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Plans to convert the old school rooms and the connecting building at Sidmouth’s United Reform Church and build flats have been backed by the town council.

Applicant Ian Gregory told the Herald last year that he wanted to turn the Chapel Street church into a toy museum that is set to open at the end of 2019 or early in 2020.

The proposals for the remainder of the property, which dates back to around 1850, will create one one-bedroom flat and two two-bed flats for rental or holiday let.

The application, which was discussed at the latest Sidmouth Town Council planning committee meeting, says the work would have little impact on the main body of the buildings, with alterations largely focused on the internal layout and improvements.

The primary changes are the addition of six new Velux-style windows and improved access to the flats.

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The parking spaces for nine cars would be retained.

Councillor Marc Kilsbie said: “I support it. It is a very good use of the existing infrastructure that is there.

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“From what I can gather it will be reasonable affordable housing for young and new families in Sidmouth.”

Cllr John Rayson added he would second a motion to support the application and said: “I was not sure about whether the person who bought this site would want to demolish it and build a block of modern apartments.

“So I am delighted that they are keeping the old building. It is a great use of it.”

East Devon District Council will decide the fate of the application.

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