Sidmouth “Lego” homes plan taken to pieces

PUBLISHED: 14:40 15 October 2010

PLANS to build 21 new homes in Sidmouth were likened to a “Lego set gone wrong” then taken to pieces by civic leaders who want designers to go back to the drawing board.

“Ugly” blueprints for a piece of land to the south west of Combe Hayes failed to get the support of Sidmouth Town Council Planning Committee members when they were discussed last week.

Members labelled designs as “inappropriate” and “aesthetically unpleasant.”

Councillor Jeffrey Turner said the scale of proposed housing was “disheartening”, adding: “It looks rather like a Lego set that has gone wrong…. aesthetically it’s pretty appalling.”

Cllr Mary Jolly said: “To put ugly houses like that next to prize-winning homes and gardens would be very bad.”

Cllr Peter Sullivan said architects should have looked at designs of houses currently under construction in Stowford Rise.

Cllr Simon Pollentine added: “There are better designs out there now.. there must be better planning examples to take.

“These hark back to something that is 20 years old…we should endeavour to get something a little better for people.”

“Style shouldn’t be sacrificed for expediency,” said Cllr Ian McKenzie-Edwards.

“The affordable housing element concerns me,” said Cllr David Barratt, who wanted affordable dwellings made available to people with “local contacts” first.

It is proposed eight of the 21 homes will be affordable. Any development would net £73,000 for local shools to redress its impact on local infrastructure.

Committee members commend a proposed division of the site, believing it would relieve traffic from Combe Hayes and Manstone Mead. They said that, if development takes place, all traffic should enter and leave the site via Stowford on the west.

The council had received one letter of objection from nearby residents.

Planning committee members were unanimous in not supporting the plans.

Their view will be taken into account by planning authority East Devon District Council when it decides the bid’s fate.


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