Work on the controversial new homes site in Exmouth is beginning

Work will begin on a major retirement complex on the site of Exmouth’s Jewson building tradesmen, which was refused by planners and subsequently approved at an appeal hearing. Churchill Retirement Living has acquired the land in Fore Street to build 54 apartments and six cottages with associated parking and landscaping.

The plans also provide for the creation of shops on the ground floor as business space for local entrepreneurs. It is not yet known when the homes will be ready.

East Devon District Council’s planning committee refused the application in June 2023 due to concerns about a loss of employment land, more homes exclusively for older residents and the inability to deliver enough affordable housing.

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Councilors questioned whether more retirement homes were needed in the city and highlighted the need for one and two-bedroom apartments and homes for young people. Exmouth City Council objected with similar concerns and the plans received 18 public objections and two in support.

The application was initially recommended for approval by planners due to its ‘highly sustainable location’ and because it would use an already developed site to increase the council’s housing supply. In September the matter was referred back to the planning committee and it was decided to withdraw the reasons for the refusal.

Images of what the new care home complex at Jewson in Fore Street, Exmouth, will look like(Image: Churchill Retirement Life)

Churchill Retirement Living appealed the council’s refusal to grant planning permission and the decision was overturned by the Planning Inspectorate in December, subject to conditions.

It was noted that the proposed redevelopment of the site would overcome the noise and traffic issues currently associated with the existing operation, leading to a ‘long-term improvement in the living conditions of neighboring residents’. It added that the development would ‘meet an identified need’.

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