Friday, 9 June 2017

Knowle relocation project: latest on the PegasusLife appeal > further reports

On Monday this week, this blog ran a piece assuming that  PegasusLife, the developer at Knowle, had until that day to appeal:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: deadline to appeal planning decision >>> today, 6th June

The logic being that the District Council's planning committee (or DMC) had made the decision on 6th December - there being six months to lodge an appeal:
EAST DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL - Development Management Committee - Tuesday 6 December 2016; Schedule number 7 – 2016/2017 - Applications determined by the Committee

However, the actual 'decision notice' was formally printed on 9th December:

Important Dates:

Decision Printed Date: Fri 09 Dec 2016

16/0872/MFUL | ...

Which was also the date of the District Council's press release:
9 December 2016 - East Devon’s Development Management Committee refuse permission to build 113-apartments at EDDC’s offices at Knowle in Sidmouth - East Devon

The developer has now in fact lodged an appeal:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: BREAKING NEWS >>> "PegasusLife have lodged their appeal with the Inspectorate"
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: latest on the PegasusLife appeal

Perhaps this week was simply a good time to bury such news...

As reported in today's Herald:

Developer submits appeal to £7.5m Knowle plan refusals

PUBLISHED: 15:45 09 June 2017

Stephen Sumner

EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

A developer has appealed the refusal of its multi-million-pound bid to create a 113-home retirement community at Knowle.

PegasusLife submitted its challenge to East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) ruling to the Planning Inspectorate on Wednesday before today’s deadline.

Councillors defied officer advice to refuse the scheme in December – arguing it would overdevelop Knowle and represent a departure from the site’s 50-home allocation in the Local Plan. They also had concerns about the lack of ‘affordable’ housing provision.

An EDDC spokeswoman confirmed that PegasusLife has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate, but said it can take weeks for the process to begin.

The developer has agreed to pay EDDC £7.505million for the site of its current HQ if the application is approved. The proceeds would go towards the authority’s £10million relocation to Exmouth and Honiton, but councillors have since voted to press ahead with the project before a buyer is guaranteed.

This means construction work, funded by a loan, will begin at Heathpark in Honiton before Knowle is sold. Work on Exmouth Town Hall is already under way.

Developer submits appeal to £7.5m Knowle plan refusals - Breaking news & sport in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald

Meanwhile, here is an observation from the SOS site from this week:

The Development Management Committee (DMC) which made the refusal, appears to have problems of its own:

The two Conservative councillors who voted along with their Independent colleagues to reject the planning application, have been removed from the DMC in a reshuffle.

DMC matters | Save Our Sidmouth

And here are some thoughts from the EDW blog from April:


16 APR 2017

The big question is ‘what is the chance of Pegasus winning an appeal?’

Probably not that great:

The application is for more than a hundred units when the Local Plan allocation is for fifty.

The application does not include any affordable.

The application is opposed by Sidmouth Town Council and a large and vociferous group of local residents.

Most importantly, the Planning Consultants at the time of the provisional sale to Pegasus foresaw that the application would be refused. So did the Planning Team, who miraculously changed their minds when the application came forward. Both EDDC and Pegasus were warned in advance that the Development Management Committee could not approve the application. Remember: this information came into the public domain as a result of the successful Freedom of Information request.

If the application goes to inquiry, as seems likely, then we, and EDDC, will have to wait for 24 months with little confidence that the appeal will be successful.

Then comes the situation of ‘what happens next?’ Well, we know the answer because Grant Thornton have helpfully predicted four scenarios, all of which will lead to receipts well below the price currently agreed with Pegasus.

The whole process would have to begin again, against a backdrop of a planning appeal refusal. New tender, new negotiation, new design, new application, and perhaps even another refusal.

Eventually an application will succeed, and a sale result, but we could easily be four years down the road, and at a substantially reduced price in possibly a very different property market.

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