Budleigh flats plan rejected for Abele Tree House

PUBLISHED: 06:30 13 March 2017


A historic Budleigh Salterton building has been saved from demolition after plans to build flats in its place were refused.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) development management committee voted against approving an application to tear down Abele Tree House, in Fore Street, at its latest meeting this week.

The application would have seen eight new apartments built on the site, with covered parking. An outhouse on the site would have also been converted into a dwelling.

Speaking at the meeting, Nicola Daniel, Otter Valley Association (OVA) planning committee chairman, said: “The loveliness and quaintness of High Street and Fore Street is of prime importance.

“A few false steps and you’re left with a ‘hodge podge’ of new and old buildings.

“Budleigh is elegant and beautiful and so attracts custom, contributes to commercial success and draws the community together. This proposal offers a short-term benefit rather than strengthening our long-term plan to enhance the main street in a way that will sustain the commercial appeal.”

Councillor Mark Williamson said: “The draft neighbourhood plan attaches great importance to Budleigh conservation area, its architecture and its history.

“I would suggest we are losing too many very fine buildings and not just in conservation areas.”

However, ward member for Budleigh Alan Dent was in favour of the application, saying it could boost the number of family homes available in the town.

He said: “I have already been approached by elderly residents who have said they want to be first in the queue for one of these apartments.

“These apartments offer accommodation suitable for elderly residents in a truly sustainable location. As such, elderly people moving into them would be releasing much-needed family housing.”

Councillors voted 12 to three in favour of refusing the application.

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