Planning permission has been sought for new flats to be built in the centre of Exmouth. 

A proposal has been lodged with East Devon District Council for an additional one and a half storey vertical extension to an existing rank of commercial units in the Magnolia Centre. 

If given the go-ahead, seven one-bed flats and 17 two-bed flats would be built over two floors. A one-and-a-half-storey extension will be built above the shops from the Devon Air Ambulance shop to Café Nero.  

The East Devon Local Plan states that 25 per cent of a development of this size and type should be earmarked for affordable homes, however, the applicant states that would make the proposal ‘unviable. The application’s affordable housing statement added: “However, the applicant is willing to discuss matters with the Council and would welcome the opportunity to negotiate an appropriate provision based on the Council’s identified local need.” 

If approved, the ground-floor frontage of the shops will remain unchanged, as will the first-floor storage area for the shops. More storage and loading/unloading space will also be built behind the shops.  

The flats will provide open plan living/dining/kitchen space with separate bedrooms and bathrooms. The document has been prepared by Agrarian LTD, a Gloucestershire-based Architecture firm.  

As the location sits right in the centre of town, the applicant claims people living there would have to rely less on using their car and more on public transport. A cycle rack will be built outside so people living there can ‘rely on more sustainable modes of transport’ 

The planning application states: “The proposed creation of 24 flats contained within a new roof extension over the existing buildings will not have any detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the nearby Conservation Area, as the scheme will make use of a large extent of the existing building and will help to improve the vitality of the conservation area by bringing the building back into regular use. 

“The buildings and shops in the Magnolia Centre date from the mid-late 1980s.”  

The plans will be discussed by Exmouth Town Council’s planning committee before East Devon District Council makes the final decision. 

The full application can be found on the East Devon District Council website here – You can also comment on the plans on the planning portal before the plans are discussed. The plans will be discussed at the December planning committee.