Planning appeal hearing date set for controversial retirement homes plan in Exmouth
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Exmouth has been warned it must defend its employment land ‘to the hilt’ in the wake of the developer behind a previously-rejected retirement homes proposal lodging an appeal.
The planning inspectorate has now set a date of February 5, 2019, to hear arguments for and against a 59-apartment retirement community on land near Tesco, in Salterton Road originally refused by East Devon District Council as the land has been earmarked for commercial use.
In its appeal statement, developer YourLife Management Services – a joint venture between Somerset Care and McCarthy and Stone – argues that the employment allocation is ‘surplus to requirements’ and not a ‘viable’ proposition ‘now or in the near future’.
Ian Cann, vice chairman of the emerging neighbourhood plan – currently being assessed by independent examiners ahead of a public referendum - has urged the planning inspectorate to consider the need for employment land in Exmouth.
He said: “One of the focuses of the neighbourhood plan is for Exmouth to be ‘demographically balanced’ and at the moment it’s out of sync and we need to retain our younger people in the town.
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“It’s all well and good giving them a house but they need to have job.
“If you want to retain this people in the town you need to create as many jobs as possible. To do that, we have to identify as much commercial land as possible.
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“We have to defend against other uses of land identified for commercial use – we have to defend that to the hilt.”
If the planning inspector agrees with developers, the application, which includes self-contained flats for those over 70 years old, would be approved.
Exmouth Town Council’s planning committee has twice opposed the application, despite the developer putting its case forward.
All previous representations made about the proposal have been forwarded to the planning inspectorate and people have an opportunity to either change or add their comments by Monday, November 12.
Visit https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to comment on the plans.