'Overbearing' care home knocked back

ATTEMPTS to demolish Rolle College s former student digs and build a 40-bed care home have been knocked back by town planners for the second time in five months.

ATTEMPTS to demolish Rolle College's former student digs and build a 40-bed care home have been knocked back by town planners for the second time in five months.

Last October town planners refused to endorse the plans at St. Olan's, 14 Cyprus Road because the building would be overbearing on neighbours and the design was 'out of character' with historic buildings in the area.

Developers then filed amended plans with changes including moving the building further to the front of the site to reduce the affect on neighbours but.

But on Monday the town hall's planning committee once again refused to endorse the proposals.

The previous plans had drawn 20 letters of objection - and the updated plans have drawn a similar number.

Douglas Avenue's Pat Attard of campaign group SAD, who seek to protect the architectural heritage of the Avenues said: "...the amendments made have been minimal...

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"By moving the building forward towards the road in order to mitigate the oppressive affect on neighbours, it now creates an even greater dominance on the street scene which is unacceptable.

"This merely underlines that the total scale, height and massing of this proposal is inappropriate to the site."

She criticised the decision by district planners to recommend the plans for approval because it ignored guidance in the Avenues Design Statement and East Devon's Local plan which states that developments should be in the character of the area - she cited inconsistencies with a ruling over a separate Bloor Homes development opposite.

"The Bloor application directly opposite ...was quite properly obliged to provide plans that fitted carefully with the key characteristics and special qualities of the area. "Therefore the decision (by the development management committee) to overturn (planning officers recommendations) for refusal seems particularly bizarre."

Town planner Cllr Ken Harper said: "....the Local Plan and the Avenues Design Statement says the character of new developments should be in the character of existing buildings.

"The building should not take up more than 25 per cent of the site - this development takes up 53 per cent.

"We either accept these documents as guidelines or we don't and we throw them away.

"I feel we should not accept this application."

The plans will now be decided by district planners.


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