REFUSED: Plans to build seven homes in heart of Sidmouth would cause ‘unacceptable loss’ of privacy

Plans to build seven homes above Housewares in Fore Street, Sidmouth, have been refused. Picture: Go

Plans to build seven homes above Housewares in Fore Street, Sidmouth, have been refused. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

Plans to build seven homes in the heart of Sidmouth as part of redevelopment work to an existing business have been refused by the district council.

An application was lodged for the demolition of the rear part of Housewares, at 22 Fore Street, and its reconstruction, with seven two-storey dwellings above.

However, district planners have thrown out the plans, citing concerns with potential flood risks, the design and scale of the potential build and an 'unacceptable' loss of privacy the development would impose.

The application's design and access statement said the current extension at 22 Fore Street is being used as retail space by Housewares.

The plans sought to knock down the extension and erect a new shop area, with seven small townhouses above the shop space.

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No car parking would have been provided for the tenants, as the development would be close to two public car parks.

An existing car park, for nine cars, within the existing curtilage would have remained unchanged.

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Refusing the plans, officers at East Devon District Council said the site lies in one flood zone, and partially in another.

It said: "The sequential approach to flood risk aims to steer new development to areas with the lowest probability of flooding and in this case there are sites available elsewhere in the district that are suitable for new dwellings and at a lower risk of flooding. The proposal therefore fails to satisfy the Sequential Test.

"Furthermore, the proposal has failed to demonstrate that there would be safe access and egress in the event of a flood."

In their refusal notice, planning officers said the design, scale and layout of the development had a 'poor relationship' with the buildings on Fore Street.

They highlighted the proposed development's wide span of the roof and the pastiche design of the elevations, and said these would be 'unsympathetic to the prevailing character' of the Sidmouth Town Centre Conservation Area and the setting of an adjacent listed building.

The notice said: "The proposal would therefore fail to conserve the character and appearance of the conservation area."

Regarding privacy concerns, officers said the close proximity and elevation of the proposed dwellings would result in an 'unacceptable loss of privacy' to neighbours of the site.

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