Monday, 9 January 2017

Knowle relocation project: and mixed use development

The District Council is committed to 'mixed use development':

At Port Royal, as outlined in August 2010:

EDDC’s strategy from 2011 to 2026:
Promoting a mixed use redevelopment of the East End and Drill Hall site on the Esplanade also features in the dossier

A vision for Sidmouth’s future - News - Sidmouth Herald
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipatimg a Regeneration Board

And now at Manstone:

EDDC’s Manstone Depot is allocated for 20 homes in its Local Plan – but now the authority wants to keep its estates department in Sidmouth when it relocates to Exmouth and Honiton.
Its development management committee (DMC) has been recommend to approve the plans for a single-storey office block when it meets on Tuesday January 10.
The report to DMC members says the offices will be limited to one section of the site and housing could still be delivered on the remaining area. It adds, the departure from the Local Plan is not grounds to refuse the application.

‘Dismay’ at office plan on Sidmouth site allocated for affordable homes - News - Sidmouth Herald

However, this readiness to have council facilities and housing on the same site is not transferred to Knowle, where 'mixed use development' has been dismissed:

There is no developer interest nor value in the existing Knowle buildings. There is outstanding basic repair cost and significant cost to any efforts to refurbish or modernise the current buildings with no prospect of capital receipt to help fund such expenditure. 4. No market interest has been shown in retaining and refurbishing any of the existing buildings. All bids were made only for a site vacated by EDDC and cleared. Bids received all covered the upper car parks, office and depot space.
5. Bids received make clear that to derive a meaningful capital receipt from the Knowle requires EDDC to leave.
6. Suggestions that the Council can retreat to the 70s/80s blocks and derive a significant receipt from sale of the former hotel are unviable. The Council has considered the possibility (including a reduced size of workforce) and found that it fails on the basis of cost, lack of asset uplift in value and absence of market interest.

And yet 'mixed development' is generally seen as a good thing:

Mixed use is one of the ten principles of Smart Growth, a planning strategy that seeks to foster community design and development that serves the economy, community, public health, and the environment.


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