Save Our Sidmouth

Knowle plans recommendation had contained “little enthusiasm on the part of the officer concerned”, DMC told.

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The summary below is of Kelvin Dent’s address to EDDC’s Development Management Committee (DMC) on 6th December 2016.

Kelvin is Chair of the Knowle Residents’ Association.

He made clear that the Association were neither anti PegasusLife, nor were they opposed in principle to this type of development on the Knowle.

His objection was on the grounds that the “proposed development was too big, too high, there are too many apartments and the buildings extend too far into the gardens”.

He had met the company at a senior level when this matter first started and had been given an assurance that the buildings would not extend into the gardens significantly beyond the existing building nor was it intended to construct high rise buildings. “I am disappointed that these good intentions were not carried through into the application”.

Kelvin commented on the Planning Officer’s report.”I don’t want to be unkind but I have never, ever, ever read a report which recommends approval with so little enthusiasm on the part of the officer concerned”

The Planning Officer conceded that the development must be considered as a departure from the local plan.

He conceded that the setting of the listed summerhouse will be harmed.

Kelvin quoted the planning officer’s description of the development as “not particularly neighbourly”. Also the fact that the Planning Officer had honestly and openly admitted that “Design and landscape impact have been an area of significant concern through the consideration of the application – not least because of the increase in the scale, height and mass of the buildings compared with the character and domestic nature of the surrounding area”

Kelvin reminded the committee that these were the Planning Officer’s own words and suggested that the views of the Design Review Panel should be given very little weight as a material planning consideration.

Kelvin concluded by asking the committee to refuse the application as overdevelopment and out of keeping. “Please be brave and do the right thing for us. Thank you.” he said.

SOS Note: They were, and they did!

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