New Knowle owners: 'We want to make site something Sidmouth can be proud of'

The Knowle Sidmouth

The former EDDC headquarters at the Knowle, Sidmouth - Credit: LDRS

The new owners of the former East Devon District Council offices at Knowle, Sidmouth, have confirmed they will only be seeking slight amendments to the existing planning permission.

Speaking to the Herald, Shane Paull, managing director of McCarthy Stone who has recently taken over ownership of the site, has promised the people of Sidmouth there will not be any surprises when building work starts next year.

Mr Paull also said: "We are looking to make some slight adjustments and improvements, but generally it will be an application for retirement communities, four affordable houses, retirement living units and the care home on the main site.

"Over the next few months, people will see work on-site with people carrying surveys and investigations so that once we do start, we can get done quickly and start looking to get the apartments up for sale in early 2024.

"We do hope that everyone locally will be pleased to see the plans coming forward, and they shouldn't be too much of a surprise compared to what's been approved here previously."

McCarthy Stone took over complete ownership of the Knowle earlier this month.

Existing planning permission for an assisted living scheme which was granted at appeal in 2018 and was being progressed by the property developer LifeStory – but the company said in March last year that it was ‘reviewing the consented development’. It has now sold the site to McCarthy Stone. 

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Any amendments will require consent from East Devon District Council, which McCarthy Stone hopes to obtain in the summer. The application submitted by McCarthy Stone will be much the same as that submitted by Lifestory, who previously owned the site.

All being well, they hope to start building this time next year - 2023.

A full public consultation will be carried out shortly for local residents and McCarthy Stone hopes to meet with local neighbours and stakeholders to discuss the plans.