Plans for 59-apartment retirement complex in Exmouth slammed by town leaders

PUBLISHED: 10:13 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:13 21 January 2020

An artist's impression of how McCarthy and Stone's 59-apartment complex could look. Picture: McCarthy and Stone

An artist's impression of how McCarthy and Stone's 59-apartment complex could look. Picture: McCarthy and Stone

Archant

Plans for a four-storey retirement block in Exmouth have been heavily criticised by the town leaders.

Members of the town council's planning committee unanimously voted to object to McCarthy and Stone proposals for 59 apartments and a separate office building on a site next to Tesco, in Salterton Road.

The application comes 10 months a similar application was rejected at appeal due to the site in Salterton Road being earmarked in the East Devon Local Plan for employment use.

McCarthy and Stone say the office building was included based on comments made by the district council on the previous application.

However, the town council's planning committee agreed that the application was contrary to the local plan and the Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan.

Speaking at the meeting, David Radford, of the Exmouth Civic Society, said 'nothing has changed' since the previous the application.

Councillor Frank Cullis said: "For the future this town needs jobs, it needs employment land, it doesn't necessarily need any more old people's homes.

"It definitely doesn't need it built on employment land.

"I propose we always refuse until we get something that gives young people a future in this town, not old people a place to go and die."

Deputy mayor Brian Bailey said: "Nothing has changed in my view - the alleged industrial block at the back is just a sprat to catch a mackerel.

"It's a way of trying to get around the regulations.

"This is our last block of employment land in Exmouth, so if we lose this, there is no where for any significant employment land in Exmouth."

Cllr Brian Toye said the neighbourhood plan outlines a need for retirement accommodation for existing Exmouth residents and raised concerns that this development would cater for those from outside the town.

If given the go-ahead, 59 self-contained units, specifically designed for the elderly could be built on the site.

The apartments would be designed exclusively for customers aged 70 and over.

McCarthy and Stone said the apartments would be suitable for tenants with a 'heightened level of assisted care requirement'.

East Devon District Council will make the final decision.

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