Appeal rejected over 59-bed care home plans for Exmouth employment land

PUBLISHED: 12:03 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:28 01 April 2019

Land South of Redgate, near Tesco in Salterton Road, Exmouth, where it is proposed 59 retirement apartments could be built. Picture: Google Street View

Land South of Redgate, near Tesco in Salterton Road, Exmouth, where it is proposed 59 retirement apartments could be built. Picture: Google Street View

Archant

The Planning Inspectorate has dismissed an appeal against the rejection of plans to build a 59-bed care community in Exmouth

Plans to build a 59-bed care community have been dismissed at appeal due to the impact it would have on job opportunities in Exmouth.

The application to build a mix of one and two bedroom care apartments on land south of Redgate, Exmouth, was originally rejected by the district council and now the planning inspectorate has reinforced that decision.

In her report, inspector Hannah Porter said the proposal was contrary to strategy 32 of the East Devon Local Plan which says that loss of employment land should be resisted where it would harm job opportunities.

Mrs Porter said: “I am not satisfied that the options for the retention of the employment-allocated portion of the appeal site for employment generating uses of the sort accepted by the local plan policies has been explored with rigour.

“Neither has it been clearly demonstrated that there is a surplus supply of employment land or provision in the locality.”

Mrs Porter also said the application for the appeal site would have a ‘harmful’ effect on the supply of employment land in Exmouth.

Developer McCarthy and Stone has previously argued that options for retention of the land for employment had been explored without success for at least 12 months.

However the inspector said she was ‘not persuaded’ that evidence put forward by Yourlife Management Services Ltd, on behalf of the developer, demonstrated employment uses had been ‘fully explored’ for at least a year.

Mrs Porter said the site was marketed ‘without distinction’ between the part of the site used for employment and the part that is not. She also said there was no indicative guide-price given within the site advertisements.

In conclusion, Mrs Porter said: “I recognise there would be benefits as a consequence of providing and extra care facility.

“However, the proposal would not accord with key development plan requirements aimed at protecting the supply of land for employment uses.

“Overall though significant, the benefits of the appeal scheme are not sufficient to outweigh the harm I have found would be caused.

“Therefore, I am not persuaded that a decision should be made other than in accordance with the development plan when read as a whole.”

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