Avenues flats plan refused

12:11 03 December 2012

Plans to build 14 flats in the Avenues have been rejected by district planners.

The proposed scheme is for a site at 14 Cyprus Road, which was formerly home to student accommodation.

The applicant had successfully obtained planning permission for a care home on the site in 2010, but after that scheme fell through submitted a revised application for apartments.

East Devon District Council’s development management committee was advised by officers that it would be difficult to turn down the new scheme, because it was so similar to the care home plan which had been approved.

However, opponents of the plan have pointed out that part of the reason for the care homes approval was the perceived need for a care home, and the jobs it would create – which would not apply to flats.

When councillors debated the new scheme, they criticised its similarity to the care home, and its overbearing size.

Councillor Steve Wragg said: “There’s clearly an issue with the mass, scale and height of the proposed development, in particular its footprint.”

Despite their concerns, the committee did suggest that a revised application, with a more sympathetic design, could be supported.

Councillor Geoff Pook said: “If the applicant could be encouraged to forget the nursing home design and present something more residential, it might be quite interesting.

“I would encourage them to present a purpose built design, not what’s looking a bit more like a hospital at the moment.”

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