Plans to redevelop two pubs and a children’s play area recommended for refusal

The Bank, Number 9, and Sam's Funhouse could all be demolished to make way for 31 flats. Picture: Go

The Bank, Number 9, and Sam's Funhouse could all be demolished to make way for 31 flats. Picture: Google - Credit: Google

Controversial plans to demolish two popular pubs and a children’s play area in the heart of Exmouth are set to be refused.

An application which would see The Bank, Number 9 pubs and Sams Funhouse children’s play area in St Andrew’s Road, replaced by 34 apartments has been recommended for refusal by district council planning officers.

The authority’s planning committee will meet virtually to make a decision over the application.

If given the go ahead, 12 of the homes would be affordable one-bedroom units – representing 35 per cent of the site which exceeds the district council’s minimum of 25 per cent for major developments.

The plans include knocking down the two pubs and children’s play area as well as redeveloping the existing youth centre which sits on the corner of the site on the junction of St Andrew’s Road and Imperial Road.

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In its place would be a mixed use development with office units, restaurant/cafe space, at the ground floor with the 34 one and two-bedroom apartments across the first, second , third and fourth floors.

There would also be 27 car parking spaces provided in a courtyard area.

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The delegated officer’s report said that while the plans would make a ‘positive contribution’ to the conversation area in Exmouth, its location within a flood zone and the lack of a proven provider for the affordable homes means they are recommending refusal.

The officer said the plans fail a sequential test which sets out sites that should be developed before others.

The report said: “Despite a need for smaller units in Exmouth, the lack of evidence of interest from registered providers undermines the applicant’s case that a reduced sequential test area should be applied to this application.

“In light of this, and given that the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) rightly seeks to direct residential development away from areas at risk of flooding, the proposal fails the sequential test and residential development of the site is not considered to be appropriate.”

Councillors on EDDC’s planning committee will make the final decision on the major full application at the virtual meeting held via Zoom on Wednesday (date?) at 10am.

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