Plan to create 10 flats in Exmouth given go-ahead by East Devon District Council

PUBLISHED: 14:53 11 July 2017


Plans to demolish a building to make way for flats in Sarlsdown Road was given approval despite concerns it ‘brings nothing to the table’

Plans to demolish a building in Exmouth and replace it with 10 flats have been given the green light.

The proposals for Sarlsdown Road, which also includes associated parking and amenity space, was given the go-ahead at a meeting of East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) development management committee.

Previously, Exmouth Town Council had opposed the plans, which had been recommended for approval by EDDC officers.

The town council had raised concerns about the proximity to neighbours and the affect on their amenity.

However, at the meeting, developer agent Malcolm Gig said that the development would be at least 28 metres from any surrounding properties.

Ward member Councillor Mark Williamson said that was no reason to refuse the application, but also added that, if Exmouth had a neighbourhood plan, the proposal might have been more heavily scrutinised.

He said: “I suspect that if we had the Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan, the [EDDC] officers’ recommendation may or may not have been different.

“If we [Exmouth[ had a neighbourhood plan in place, this is the kind of application which would have been interrogated much more forensically than it can be at the moment.”

Cllr Williamson also questioned the proposed scheme’s contribution towards employment.

He added: “The East Devon Local Plan was built on the principal that every new dwelling should generate one new job.

“These 10 apartments aren’t going to generate anything beyond the work involved in building them.”

Cllr Brian Bailly added: “This technically ticks all the boxes, but it doesn’t bring anything to the table.

“There’s nothing in it for the community – I think, to coin a phrase, it’s snuck under the radar bringing nothing with it.”

Cllr Steve Gazzard asked about the contribution towards ‘affordable’ housing, but was told by a council officer that the minimum requirement to qualify a development for a contribution was 11 homes.

However, the meeting did hear that the application was subject to a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payment.

Cllr Gazzard said: “I am please that this will be subject to some sort of CIL money.”

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