The last topic for examination in Friday’s session of the Appeal Inquiry (1st December) was planning obligations and conditions as set out in the S106 agreement signed between PegasusLife and East Devon District Council. To view the S106 agreement, go to http://planningapps.eastdevon.gov.uk/Planning/StreamDocPage/obj.pdf?DocNo=2880743&PDF=true&content=obj.pdf
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.