Residents speak out about plans to commercialise area in Woolbrook

The proposed development in Woolbrook Park.

The proposed development in Woolbrook Park. - Credit: Archant

More than 20 residents have spoken out against plans to ‘commercialise’ a residential area in Woolbrook.

The owner of a property in Woolbrook Park is seeking permission to extend and convert an existing bungalow into two dwellings and to build a detached three-bedroom house in the garden.

If planning permission is granted, the site will offer two holiday lets and one private dwelling, as well as a new detached garage and additional parking.

The site is surrounded by residential bungalows that are mainly occupied by elderly or retired residents.

Sidmouth Town Council’s planning committee considered the application on February 7 and said it would not support the scheme after more than 20 residents objected.

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Members said the scale, level and intensity of the development were incompatible with the character of the surrounding area and that the proposed conversion would affect neighbours’ amenities.

Issues included overlooking, a loss of privacy, the increase in traffic and the comings and goings of holidaymakers at unsociable times in a residential area.

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One resident, who lives with his wife nextdoor to the property, told the meeting: “We feel, if allowed, this development would have a devastating effect on our standard of living.”

He said the house would be squeezed into the garden and that the design of the scheme would mean the new occupants would be able to see 90 per cent of his garden and into his lounge, dining room and kitchen.

“It would mean the total loss of our privacy and that the total peaceful enjoyment, of a property we have lived in for almost a decade, will be taken away,” added the resident.

Councillor Ian McKenzie-Edwards said: “It is quite a staggering application that somebody would seriously propose to do this.

“I can’t think of anything that I have seen, over quite a number of years, which is more inappropriate. To try and commercialise what is clearly a residential area is totally wrong.”

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

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