Renewed bid to develop Sidford’s Green Close site submitted

Former Green Close care home

Former Green Close care home - Credit: Archant

A renewed application to demolish the former Green Close care home and build 40 retirement apartments has been submitted.

The Herald previously reported on Churchill Retirement Living’s previous bids to replace the former 23-bed Sidford care home.

The developer’s latest application was validated by East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) on Tuesday and looks to demolish the former care home and construct 40 retirement apartments for older persons. The application also includes communal facilities, access, car parking and landscaping.

As of yet, no other details have been uploaded to the council’s planning portal. More information is expected to follow soon revealing details of the latest application.

EDDC’s development management committee refused an application to build 39 sheltered accommodation flats earlier this year.

Councillors agreed with officer’s recommendations - that there wasn’t ‘an adequate amount of affordable housing’ or a ‘provision of an overage clause’.

At the time the applicant proposed a financial contribution of £654,870 towards affordable housing.

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Churchill also offered to ensure works commenced within six months of permission being given on the basis a Vacant Building Credit (VBC) and that no overage clause would be applied.

The applicant said it wished to avoid an overage clause as it wanted to keep its costs ‘private and confidential’ and out of the public domain, where their competitors may be able to use them to seek an advantage.

A previous application before that was also submitted in August 2017 for 36 apartments but this was thrown out by a government planning inspector following an appeal, launched by Churchill after EDDC’s non-determination of its proposals.

Town councillors have previously slammed one of Churchill’s past offers for an off-site contribution of £41,000, calling it an ‘insult’ to Sidmouth – claiming the developer stood to ‘make millions’ from the development.

The Green Close care home was built in 1971 but closed in 2014 after Devon County Council cutbacks.

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