Please note that those wishing to join the Appeal Inquiry Inspector on the site visit, should meet at 1.30pm outside the entrance to EDDC Council Chamber (not at the Dell, as previously suggested).
Please also note that no new evidence can be presented to the Inspector, as the Appeal Inquiry closed on Friday (1st Dec).
Two points of interest from the final day of the Inquiry were that no weight would be given to photomontages submitted by members of the public, as they did not match approved methodology. Simon Bird, QC, for PegasusLife, also dismissed claims that the emerging Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan (SVNP) carried weight, as it is not due to be published until January 2018, so has not in fact “emerged”. This will be disappointing news for all those, young and old, who have participated in the SVNP process.
As referred to in the SOS post yesterday, the s106 agreement can be viewed on the East Devon planning pages, or at this link, but may take a while to download:
Most of the day had been taken up by lengthy closing statements by the two barristers who addressed the issues identified by the Inspector, namely the impact on:
Character and appearance of the area
C2 or C3
The listed summerhouse.
Some points which emerged, are believed to be as follows:
-Neither side asked for costs.
-The section 106 agreement now includes an overage clause so if PegasusLife make greater profits than expected they will have to pay the Council for public benefit.
-The interpretation of “on-site team” of carers seems to be unclear. Residents must sign up for a minimum of 2 hours ‘extra care’ per week.
-Residents would be paying council tax as well as service charges (flats leasehold, 999years)
-There is no evidence that the developer has considered a design that does not build on the terraces. PegasusLife argues there is no need to look at such an alternative viability option, as they are using the site to capacity.
-Planning spokesperson can’t say exactly how big the bins would have to be to store 3 weeks’ rubbish for 113 flats (collection will be 3-weekly) . Nearby residents believe the bins may be of a “considerable” size.
-When asked whether Pegasus Life, in providing a care environment, has “an equal duty of care to the people who are already living here”, the planning spokesperson said he “Would accept that overdevelopment of the site could cause harm.”
-No assessment has been carried out to check affordability for local people, and whether Sidmouth demand (as identified in the Local Plan allocation) for housing for people of all incomes, will be met by the developer’s plans.
The Inspector will carry out a site visit on Tuesday 5th December, starting at 1.30pm, from the Dell (Station Road, approximately midway between entrance to Knowle Drive and Council Office car parks.). Interested parties may go along, but no new evidence can be presented at this stage.