Plans for 40 retirement flats at Sidford Green Close site recommended for approval

Former Green Close care home

Former Green Close care home - Credit: Archant

A renewed bid to redevelop Sidford’s Green Close site is set to go before planning bosses and has been recommended for approval.

The application, submitted by Churchill Retirement Living, seeks permission to replace the former 23-bed care home with 40 retirement apartments.

The proposals are set to go before East Devon District Council (EDDC) on Tuesday (December 4).

The developer has submitted two previous applications, the first was submitted for 36 apartments in 2017 but was rejected and went to appeal before being thrown out by a planning inspector. The second, for 39 sheltered flats, was refused by EDDC earlier this year when councillors agreed with officer’s recommendations - that there was not ‘an adequate amount of affordable housing’ or a ‘provision of an overage clause’ - a clause which requires a further payment to a cancel when a develop

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

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There are no provisions for on-site affordable housing for the current application but the developer has offered £677,434 together with a deduction for ‘vacant building credit’.

Recent changes to the National Planning Policy Framework mean this meets the requirement for a contribution towards the equivalent of 50 per cent affordable housing. This means an overage clause, whereby the developer might have to make a further payment following the sale of the units, is no longer required.

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An appeal of the rejection of the last application will be withdrawn if the current application is granted.

The current proposals seek permission to demolition the current building and replace it with an L-shaped building.

It will be mainly over two stories but some parts will be three.

The plans include 40 sheltered apartments for the elderly, communal facilities - including a guest suite, owners’ lounge, lift, office and buggy store as well as a car park with 24 spaces and a landscaped garden.

The building would be taller than the existing roof in parts, but the application says it would not be ‘substantial’.

The buildings would also be mainly red and painted brick and the road access to the site would be from South Lawn, with the access from Drakes Avenue being closed off.

Read our previous story Renewed bid to develop Sidford’s Green Close site submitted here.

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