Save Our Sidmouth

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Fresh evidence in Knowle Appeal, was considered at special meeting today, ahead of Public Inquiry in November.

The five-day Public Inquiry to be held at Knowle, begins on 28th November 2017.

New evidence for the Appeal submitted by developer, Pegasus Life, can be viewed on the agenda for the Extra Ordinary Meeting of  EDDC’s Development Management Committee (DMC) that took place this morning.  See Fresh evidence in Knowle Appeal






1 Comment

Knowle proposal: Pegasus Life Appeal to be determined on basis of an inquiry. Deadline for representations, 6th September 2017.

The developer’s plans for Knowle, Sidmouth, were refused by EDDC’s Development Management Committee in December 2016. The speculative proposal involved exclusive homes for old people only, on the prime site of the District Council’s current headquarters and the best part of its historic parkland.  The planning objections were many and various, as reported on local websites, including this one. Some relevant posts are listed in the postscript from SOS below.

Notification of the appeal process was circulated on 31st July 2017, as follows:


Appeal by:Pegasus Life
Appeal ref. APP/U1105/W/17/3177340
Proposal: The construction of an assisted living community for older people comprising extra care units, staff accommodation and communal facilities, including a kitchen, restaurant/bar/cafe, a well-being suite comprising gym, treatment rooms and pool, a communal lounge and storage facilities; car parking for residents, visitors and staff of the assisted living community; comprehensive landscaping comprising communal and private spaces; and associated groundworks. Location: Council Offices Knowle Sidmouth EX10 8HL

An appeal has been made to the Secretary of State against the decision of the East Devon District Council to refuse to grant planning permission for the proposed development.The appeal will be determined on the basis of an inquiry. The procedure to be followed is set out in the Town and Country Planning Appeals (Determination by Inspectors) (Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2000.

We have forwarded all the representations made to us on the application to the Planning Inspectorate and the appellant. These will be considered by the Inspector when determining the appeal. If you wish to make comments, or modify/withdraw your previous representation, you can do so on the Planning Portal at or by emailing . If you do not have access to the internet you can send three copies to Sarah Hardy, The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/0, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN.

All representations must be received by 6th September 2017. Any representations submitted after the deadline will not usually be considered and will be returned. The Planning Inspectorate does not acknowledge representations. All representations must quote the appeal reference. Please note that any representations you submit to the Planning Inspectorate will be copied to the appellant and this local planning authority and will be considered by the Inspector when determining the appeal.

The appeal documents are available for inspection at the Council Offices, Knowle, Sidmouth EX10 8HL between 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday or can be viewed on the Council’s website at can get a copy of one of the Planning Inspectorate’s ‘Guide to taking part in planning appeals’ booklets free of charge from GOV.UK at the following address: enforcement-appeal or from the Council on request.

When made, the decision will be published on the Planning Portal.
Yours faithfully
R Capon
Senior Technical Officer’

Postscript from SOS:

Some background information can be found at this link

DMC Matters, at

or SEARCH category Knowle Watch on sidebar of this website (which includes agent’s helpful visual description of the site )







General comments

The Sid Vale Association, (SVA) applauds both East Devon District Council; (EDDC) and Sidmouth Town Council, (STC), for initiating the study which we hope will in time lead to the regeneration of this dilapidated area. We support studies and action which will make the area attractive for residents and tourists.

However we feel that the study as presented in the Display Boards, is flawed, in that it:

Portrays a “Concept Proposal” which is not called for in the Terms of Reference, (TOR), and asks the public to comment on the Concept, without any supporting evidence or data that might underpin it. The Questionnaire further reinforces the impression by asking public comment on a sketch on one of the boards at the Exhibition. EDDC and STC have said that the sketch is only a “concept” at this stage, but we believe that producing it has been a significant error, and is misleading the public at this early stage. The “Concept Proposal” presented only gives the public an opportunity to comment on a “large, poorly massed” building

The “Concept” Proposal, or area that has been considered as available for development has apparently been confined to Area E03, (shown on the Local Plan for Sidmouth), thus omitting the opportunity to consider and evaluate other areas, such as the car park and the Boat park that might give rise to more appropriate development opportunities.

Fails to mention of any use of the Boat park to the north of the Ham

Fails to explore the use of the existing car park, “Area D” as a development area.

Apparently fails to take into account the fact that Areas A and B are in a Conservation area.

Apparently fails to take into account that there is severe contamination in the area.

Uses area of the Ham which are legally and properly part of the inheritance of the town. There is no evidence so far that this intrusion has been quantified and assessed.


Next Steps

The TOR say that the Final Report will be prepared following the public consultation and that the Reference Group will review it before it is subsequently sent to EDDC and STC council’s for comments. We trust that this procedure is held to.

We note that the Report, when finally presented, will indicate the next steps. We believe that the next stage must NOT include the Building on Area “A”; and the consultants must be able to start from a  “proposal free base”, and should include what might be achieved in the area should funding not be available for the construction of new facilities and housing We believe that both councils need to be flexible in their approach to what is possible on the site. Any development of the Port Royal area should consider the retention and enhancement of existing buildings as the basis of a Sea Sports facility and Lifeboat House as an alternative to complete ground up redevelopment. The Drill Hall is an old building and may warrant further investigation.


The Questionnaire in detail

The closure of Esplanade to traffic from the Lifeboat station eastwards, with primarily pedestrian usage, is an interesting proposal, which would enhance the sea front. But further investigations must take place to assess the best way of maintaining the ability of passenger coaches to be able to turn round at this end of the Esplanade (eg an allocated area at the existing lifeboat station from where they could reverse safely into Ham lane. Further investigations should also consider achieving this through the use of “shared space” with pedestrians.
A suggestion for  any building along the sea front in the position shown as within  “A” is not supported. neither is the adoption of area “A” as a general area of Building development. This area should not be built on,  the existing open views from the Ham to the sea should continue. Any  sea frontage development should occur only on the existing Lifeboat station/ Sailing Club/ Drill hall site, not further eastwards
Area “C” ( the traffic access to Area “A”), would not be required if  Area “A” were not developed
We are very disappointed that the Study does not investigate the possibility of under croft car parking on Area D  with building above. This could cater for any new residential and perhaps Restaurant proposals.
There should be no reduction in car parking areas and if new housing is proposed parking should be increased to meet the proposed demand. .
A centre for sea/water based activities, (a Water sports centre) , (not just the sailing club alone, should be developed. Area “E”, (lifeboat station, sailing club), must have direct access to the beach. The existing facilities, (Lifeboat/Sailing club..) must maintain direct access to the sea. We supported the creation of a “Multi-Activity centre” (Community facility)
We noted that the 30 dwellings on the Local Plan were derived arbitrarily and that a modest increase might be acceptable, if sensitively planned and designed, if their provision gave rise to greater funding possibilities.

4th August, 2017