Chudleigh Town Council

Councillors at Chudleigh Town Council’s Planning Meeting, held on 5th August 2015, voted to strongly oppose the application for The Square, Old Exeter Street, Chudleigh.

One councillor abstained from voting – Councillor Patricia Johnson-King.

An angry crowd of at least 130 people demanded that Chudleigh Town Council fights plans for a ‘monstrous carbuncle’ development in The Square. Many wanted to express horror at the thought of building seven homes and a shop on the last open space in the town centre.

The site once housed a pub and other properties but they were demolished half a century ago.

Among residents’ concerns were over-development, inappropriate modern design, ‘depressing’ grey materials, unnecessary retail development, loss of trees and an open space (photo below, right-hand side).

One resident said: “It resembles the large, bloodied nose this project will deliver to this historic town centre.

“If no-one has yet given it a name, I propose Total Eyesore That Has Nothing In Keeping With The Surrounding Buildings.”

Councillor Richard Keeling’s proposal that the council recommends refusal on grounds that include a design not in keeping with the Local Plan, loss of trees and the overbearing effect on the nearby war memorial was seconded and approved.

Helen Murdoch,
Planning Department,
Teignbridge District Council,
Forde House,
Newton Abbot,
TQ12 4XX

6 August 2015

Dear Helen,

Ref: 15/01770/FUL: The Square, Old Exeter Street, Chudleigh: Demolition of existing single storey commercial unit and replace with retail unit and seven dwellings.

Firstly, may I thank you for allowing us an extension of time to submit our comments. This was invaluable as it allowed more time for the community to be made aware of the application and for them to become engaged in the consultation process. This was important, I think, given that the outcome of the application will have a fundamental impact on the centre of the town.

The Town Council’s planning committee met on 5 August, a meeting that was attended by around 127 parishioners. That number might well have been higher had the room had a bigger capacity. I mention this because I think it is important to make clear to you, and also to the Development Control Committee, that this application has generated an unprecedented level of interest within the town. This is, by far, the highest public attendance at any Council meeting in recent times – far higher than for major applications for 200+ dwellings.

You will have noted that, to date, there are some 95 objections on the planning portal. There is also an objection from Chudleigh & District Amenity Society who represent around 100 members. I have to tell you that the entire audience at the planning committee meeting were also opposed to the application. I believe this makes clear that, should the application be passed, a development that will change the nature of the centre of the town will have been imposed on the community against their expressed wishes.

Without a doubt, this site is the most high-profile and high-impact site left for development within the town. The location is highly visible as one proceeds down Fore Street and will set the tone for the visual impact of the town centre. As such, it is imperative that the design of any development is in keeping with the current appearance of the town and supportive of the conservation area.

After listening to the views of the community Councillors have decided to strongly oppose the application. They do so on four grounds:-

  • That the design and scale of the proposed building was unsuited to the town centre and conservation area,
  • It was not in keeping with the street scene in Old Exeter Street and New Exeter Street,
  • It was over-bearing in relation to the listed war memorial and obelisk,
  • Loss of the green open space.

Yours sincerely,

John Carlton
Town Clerk

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