Sidmouth Hospital plans rejected by town planners

Sidmouth town planners say No to latest hospital expansion plans but support the need for re-development

TOWN planners have voted not to support plans for a major phase of works to extend and improve Sidmouth Victoria Hospital

Although Sidmouth Town Council’s planning committee backed the Royal Devon & Exeter Foundation Trust for wanting to carry out the works - which would see the demolition of an existing building and construction of a two-storey extension, which would house new kitchens - it felt several issues needed addressing before it could offer its support for planning consent.

The main concerns were the shadowing of a footway and gardens at the rear of homes in All Saints Road, the lack of identification of where kitchen ventilation outlets would be and a roof line, shown to overhang a pathway between the site and gardens of All Saints Road properties.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, three letters of objection were read out by town clerk Trina Jarrett from residents along the road, who all expressed concern at the lack of information about venting outlets and proximity of the development to a wall near their homes.

One, Ian Thompson, described the proposal as “overdevelopment of an already quite crowded site.”

Another, Bev Gale, was concerned the building would abut their boundary wall, preventing access for maintenance.

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While the hospital land isn’t in a conservation area, the homes in All Saints Road are.

Councillor Peter Sullivan told councillors that residents had been consulted by the applicant before plans were submitted and as a result the second storey was shown as being in the roof with the roof angle altered to be a ‘ski slope’ shape because they did not favour the two storey design.

“One of the biggest problems is I don’t know how we can make a decision when we haven’t got information on ventilation,” said Councillor Graham Liverton, who had suggested deferring making a decision until this information was forthcoming.

But the clerk advised members their other concerns suggested they should not support the plans.

Former member of the Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Comforts Fund, Councillor Tony Reed, said members of the RDEF had “tried to create a building that doesn’t impact or offend people in All Saints Road.”

The committee voted seven to one against supporting the application, which will be considered by East Devon District Council’s development management committee.