Save Our Sidmouth

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Speculative retirement flats..are they part of the housing problem?

Do Pegasus Life plans for Knowle reflect local need? The developer’s own publicity (link given below*) suggests otherwise, according to this letter published in the Sidmouth Herald (24 Nov 2017):


As Herald readers will know, PegasusLife is currently appealing a decision to refuse a multi-million pound development of 113 retirement flats at Knowle. Who are these expensive flats for? Despite Planning refusal, the developer’s website confidently advertises the Sidmouth site nationally, under ‘future developments’, presumably to attract at least some buyers from outside East Devon, which suggests the number proposed (more than double the 50 allocated in East Devon District Council’s Local Plan) does not reflect local need. Any restrictions on the flats being bought as investment properties or second homes, are not immediately evident.

Questions remain over the wisdom of EDDC Leaders’ decision to sell the Knowle site—an appreciating public asset—to a private company set to make substantial profit from any development in such a prestigious location. The sale price agreed is less than £8 million. At the same time, the Council’s determination to relocate to an Industrial Estate, spending £10 million of public money (requiring a £2million loan) to build a new HQ, is seen as an extravagant investment unlikely to hold its value.

The Appeal Inquiry, scheduled for 5 days, starts at next Tuesday, 28th November, in Knowle Council Chamber. Public can attend. The Inspector will hear strong arguments for and against the Appeal. Due to ambiguities in planning law, should the Appeal be upheld, Pegasus Life could avoid making a contribution to affordable housing that the District so urgently needs.
Whatever the outcome, taxpayers may well conclude that the Government should stop trusting the private sector to provide affordable homes, and close the legal loopholes that developers comfortably slip through.

Jacqueline Green,


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Knowle update: 5-day Public Inquiry on developer’s Appeal begins end of this month.

The Inquiry, expected to last for five days, is scheduled to begin at 10.00am on Tuesday 28 November 2017 in the Knowle Council Chamber , Sidmouth.

Public who submitted representations have been invited to attend, and to indicate to the Inspector, Michael Boniface, at the start of the Inquiry, if they wish to speak.

Relevant documents can be viewed on the EDDC website, under planning application reference 16/0872/MFUL. As they are numerous, this guide to their contents, kindly provided by a local resident, may prove helpful. The Statement of Common Ground (link given below) is of particular interest:

A guide to the latest documents posted on EDDC Planning, all preceded with 2851-
398 PL Statement of Case again
397 Summerhouse not affected
396-384 various pieces backing up the Summerhouse report
381 Architect says it is good
378 Architect summary
341-332 Various views and montages most submitted previously
330-328 PR for PegasusLife
323 Updated version of the statement of case
307 Summary of updated case
304 Care Housing Needs Assessment repeat
301 Care Housing Needs rehashed
294 Care Housing Needs summary
287 EDDC Statement of Case
280 EDDC Statement expanded
278 EDDC summary
275 EDDC Conservation Officer says save the terraces
260-258 Old maps of site
254 Statement of Common Ground *
249 PegasusLife Appeal questionnaire


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Port Royal latest: 3Rs petition delivered to EDDC Full Council this evening



The petition has now been delivered to both Councils jointly conducting the Scoping Study for Port Royal’s future.  Sidmouth Town Council acknowledged receipt of it on 4th September 2017. And this evening, it was delivered to  East Devon District Full Council.

The fact that 1,900 people signed the petition, indicates that strong opinion about the open aspect of the Port Royal site is held by the town’s essential visitors as much as by local residents. Importantly, as Councillor Marianne Rixson said in her speech to her fellow councillors this evening, this petition underpins the responses of the Neighbourhood Plan Port Royal Survey and the public consultation.

The 3Rs campaign was launched at a Public Meeting in August. It is summarised in the slide presentations …see link to them 23 Aug Final Slides at the end of our earlier post, here: