Appeal over fate of Budleigh's old hospital garden
PUBLISHED: 09:42 22 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:42 22 May 2017
The fate of a controversial planning application to build houses on Budleigh Salterton's historic former hospital garden could now be in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate after an appeal was launched.
Landowner Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) had applied for planning permission for the site in East Budleigh Road. If given the go-ahead, two new houses could be built on land previously used by people to plant commemorative flowers for loved-ones.
CDE has now appealed against the time it has taken East Devon District Council (EDDC) to determine the proposal.
A spokesman for CDE said: “The outline planning application was lodged with EDDC on February 24, 2017.
“The deadline for the council to decide on the application passed on April 24, without a decision having been made.
“Subsequently, our agents lodged an appeal on the grounds that the application had not been determined by the authority.”
In response, a spokesman for EDDC said: “Council officers had raised concerns regarding the proposals because they would lead to the loss of local green space identified for protection in the draft Budleigh Salterton Neighbourhood Plan, which is currently being reviewed by an independent examiner.
“The application had attracted numerous objections from local residents and the town council, who were concerned about the loss of this local amenity.
“Because of this, it was not possible to make a decision on the application within the required eight weeks.”
The former hospital garden had been earmarked for activities relating to services offered by the town’s new Health and Wellbeing Hub, currently being built on the site of the old hospital.
Budleigh GP Dr Richard Mejzner, who is one of the people behind the hub, said: “We have to make sure the people making this decision know that, although the hospital is closed, we still see a lot of potential for the garden.
“We can do so many things there that would support the people we will be helping.”
The appeal is now likely to be considered by the Planning Inspectorate later this year, although at this stage it is not known how or when the appeal will be heard.