Bell Cornwell’s Exeter offices assisted Penhaven Estates Ltd in securing planning permission for the redevelopment of a former hotel and land for 21 houses and apartments.
The site has a very contentious planning history. The hotel, which is located in a sensitive location on the edge of the village, closed in 2008 and has remained vacant since that time. Despite this, previous attempts by the client to secure permission for the property’s redevelopment had been unsuccessful, with considerable opposition encountered from local residents.
Bell Cornwell were brought onto the project and asked to undertake a ‘root and branch’ assessment of the site and to provide guidance on utilising the buildings and land available to the Estate. This included the consideration of a tourism scheme, and forming a strategy for securing a residential planning permission for the site.
The challenges to developing a viable scheme which also respected the undoubted character of Parkham were considerable, with the site subject to numerous constraints including substantial tree cover, highways concerns and ecological issues all weighing against any scheme.
However, a strong design team was assembled and following a considerable period of technical analysis, discussions with the parish and district council and a thorough analysis of housing viability, a scheme was developed. This proposed a part-conversion, part-demolition of the original hotel building – an approach intended to address landscape and heritage concerns – along with a mixture of contemporary and more traditional new build housing all set within a wooded landscape. The extent of the site constraints meant that a much reduced affordable provision of 19% – against the standard of 40% – was also agreed between the parties.
As a result of the work done, the scheme was presented to Members at Torridge District Council who, following some discussion, unanimously voted to approve the development.