See letter sent to the press, and posted today on eastdevonwatch.org, under the heading
‘EDDC AND KNOWLE – REASONS FOR REFUSAL OF PEGASUSLIFE PLANNING APPLICATION – BUT WILL A NEW HQ SWAY COUNCILLORS?’
Here’s a copy of the letter, from Michael Temple, Sidmouth (Founder member of East Devon Alliance, EDA*; trustee of the national group Community Voice on Planning, CoVoP**).
“Compare and Contrast
The highly controversial PegasusLife application for Knowle is to be decided at 10.30 am on Tuesday 6 December in the Council Chamber at Knowle, Sidmouth.
Readers might like to compare it with other recent PegasusLife applications:
1. Bath (assisted living): refused: “excessive and incongruous height”, “harmful impact upon surrounding heritage assets”, “nearby listed buildings undermined”, “the excessive tall building fails to respect its context”, “harmful impact on character and appearance of surrounding conservation area”.
Bristol (Nuffield Hospital site) – officers can’t support due to “excessive bulk and massing”, “doesn’t relate to surrounding context”, would “dominate the townscape”.
Wilmslow: refused: “too large, too high, no affordables”.
Harpenden (retirement flats) – refused due to “height (20.7 metres)”, “lack of privacy for neighbours”, “footprint 28 degrees greater than existing buildings”, “visually intrusive”, “residents’ parking would spill onto neighbouring roads”.
Knowle, Sidmouth (assisted living – or second homes?) – officers approve.
The East Devon District Council’s planning officer, departing from the Local Plan and its planning strategies, claims the the “benefits” to Sidmouth outweigh the harm to an English-Heritage listed building.
“Benefits”? Could he mean
the overbearing, intrusive impact on the park and neighbourhood of an excessively high, out-of-scale massed development?
the loss of heritage buildings and public assets like the Council Chamber where so many people met recently over the proposed hospital bed cuts?
the loss of weekend parking to this tourist town?
the loss of about 100 jobs?
the blot on Sidmouth’s skyline?
the loss to the public of the park’s fine lawn prospect?
the lack of a contribution towards affordable housing?
possible downtown drainage overflow during flash floods?”