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HONITON: Town council back Premier Inn plans

Friday, 17 January 2014

Plans for a Premier Inn hotel to be built on the site of the Turk’s Head Lodge took a significant step forward this week, as Honiton Town Council gave its support to the application.
Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the development at a meeting of the town council’s planning committee on Tuesday (January 7th), despite protests from residents who were concerned that the building would overlook private property.
Yelverton Properties has already agreed a deal with Premier Inn to redevelop the Turk’s Head Lodge and the planning application submitted last month will now be assessed by East Devon District Council.
Developments Director at Yelverton Properties, Andrew Davis, said: “The hotel would supply a valuable service to growing businesses in the town and would lead to increased spending in bars and coffee shops. The site is very run down and will be developed at some stage.”
Yelverton Properties are proposing to build a 66-bedroom hotel at the back of the site with a car park to be situated at the front of the site where the Turk’s Head Lodge currently stands.
The application also includes plans to redevelop the nearby Honiton Garage, which were also supported by the town council.
Mr Davis added: “One hundred and forty people attended the public exhibition in October, and of the 80 who responded to the plans, 76 were in favour of the development. We have done everything possible to respect people’s privacy. The building will not overlook people’s houses.”
Speaking on behalf of residents living near to the site, Mrs Nia Constable said: “The present plans are much too big – the four storey building would dwarf the existing properties by quadrupling the size of the facility.
“We are also concerned about the building’s overbearing nature and the detrimental effect on air quality.
“The plan is clearly out of character and out of proportion for our town. This is the gateway to Honiton – is it really the best we can do?”
Town councillors still hold reservations regarding the Turk’s Head junction, and Councillor Vernon Whitlock called for greater pressure to be put on EDDC to build a pedestrian crossing on Exeter Road.
Councillor Roy Coombs also highlighted the additional need for a crossing on Turk’s Head Lane between the Lodge and Aldi.

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