Unanimous NO to 'prison' flats in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 17:34 10 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:11 17 June 2010

PLANS for a new Sidmouth apartment block have been slammed as prison-like in appearance. The latest proposals for the Glenside Nursing Home site in Manor Road have been unanimously opposed by Sidmouth Town Councillors.

PLANS for a new Sidmouth apartment block have been slammed as 'prison-like' in appearance.

The latest proposals for the Glenside Nursing Home site in Manor Road have been unanimously opposed by Sidmouth Town Councillors.

The new proposal, the fifth application for the site in four years, includes demolishing the redundant home and erecting 14 apartments in the two blocks.

The council's planning committee will strongly object to East Devon District Council about the proposal by Glenside Partnership Ltd.

On Wednesday, Councillor John Dyson set out five points of objection to this fifth application for the site in four years.

These related to density, height, overlooking, vehicle access and design.

The new proposal wants to demolish the redundant home and erect 14 apartments in the two blocks.

Mr Dyson said an increase in the number of apartments would conflict with EDDC's own remarks when approving an earlier scheme for 12 flats, which stated: "The density of the development is at the highest level possible compatible with the area."

He said: "I believe there is a strong case for excessive density and overdevelopment."

With a floating roof design on the glass-fronted buildings, he suspected the four-storey block would be higher than other nearby buildings, which was unacceptable.

He thought a two-storey block with such a floating roof design would be more in keeping.

There would be significant overlooking from corner rooms in the four-storey block into the garden and front rooms of Grey Turret bungalow and into rooms in the lower block, he said.

Access for visitors and service vehicles was restricted, with no turning space, leaving cars having to reverse out of the premises.

Mr Dyson described the design as "very unbalanced" with the front mainly glass with a stained glass panel down the middle, but the other sides "very dull and poor indeed.

"The back view might do justice to a prison," he added.

"We should use the strongest language possible to object to this," said Councillor Graham Liverton, who said the developer would "ruin the whole area with this obnoxious design" just to get an extra two apartments.

"Manor Road is slowly eroding and we have to watch carefully and take action. What worries me is if we said yes to this what would happen at the Fortfield Hotel?

"It would open the floodgates to bad design and this is by far the worst I have seen."

Councillor Mary Jolly said she was not against modern buildings but felt there was no need to compound one bad design in the road by allowing another.

"It is totally wrong, leaves no room for visitors and delivery people and from the North and West looks like a prison," she said.

Clerk Trina Jarrett said 11 letters of objection had been lodged, with main points covering gross overdevelopment, overlooking, loss of light, a threat to wildlife, would increase traffic flow and would be out of keeping with the area.


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