The question is explored in this letter from Michael Temple, published in the Sidmouth Herald (18 August, 2017):
‘A recent Government directive on planning appeals says that Inspectors should only refuse appeals if there is “fairly substantial harm” to the community or environment.
In light of this, readers may wish to make comments to the Inspectorate on the Pegasus Life appeal. This can be done through the Planning Portal at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk or by emailing email@example.com or by sending three copies to Sarah Hardy, The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/0, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN. Comments should be received by 6 September 2017 and should quote the appeal reference: APP/U1105/W/17/3177340.
The Pegasus Life development at Knowle will substantially harm a unique woodland public park by building massive 60 foot blocks of flats on its best features, notably on the Arcadian terraced “prospect”, so dominating the southern gardens; it will also involve the demolition of heritage buildings which are used for public concerts, religious services, talks and weddings, as well as the loss of free weekend parking for visitors. In addition, covering twice the area of the existing offices and at much greater heights, it will be a blot on the landscape, intrusively visible from adjacent Conservation areas and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site, as well as overlooking surrounding properties and causing constant traffic noise and pollution.
Pegasus Life claim that the development is a care home yet there will be no nurse available at night –
if designated as such, of course, the developer makes no contribution to the Council for socially rented housing or “affordable” homes. Moreover, although these very expensive flats are ostensibly for occupancy as primary residences, there is a clause which allows the Council to waive this (for instance if flats fail to sell) so that they could easily become second homes and investment properties.
Bearing in mind that losing the appeal means the Council will have to pay Pegasus’s appeal costs, EDDC will still get their seven and a half million by selling the site to them. With their precious three-site move project depending so much on this, what fight will they put up to the Inspector on our behalf?’
The Appeal Programmehas now been posted.