Thursday, 2 January 2020
by Daniel Clark – Local Democracy Reporter
Homes Under The Hammer host Martin Roberts has withdrawn his application to build a posh new home in Dartmouth. The 56-year-old I’m A Celebrity star had wanted to build an “innovative” house overlooking the River Dart. It would have been built on Waterpool Road with the remnants of a stone barn.
But neighbours shot down the plans and claimed the development was out of keeping with the local area. The property expert tried to win support from town councillors at a planning meeting in September last year and even took in a model of his design – but they rejected the idea. South Hams District Council were due to make a decision on the scheme by the end of 2019, but on December 18, Mr Roberts withdrew the application. No reason for the withdrawal of the scheme is listed on the South Hams planning portal.
His desire to live in Dartmouth was inspired by a holiday home he purchased in the area around 20 years ago. The earmarked plot has remnants of a stone barn and he had hoped to build a three-bedroom pad with a study, open plan kitchen and levelled garden on the site. It was described in planning documents as a “unique application which will enhance the immediate setting and create a dwelling that our generation is proud of”. But Dartmouth Town Council recommended the project for refusal on the grounds that it was over-development in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Now, Mr Roberts has withdrawn the application before a final decision by South Hams could be made.
The star has co-hosted popular daytime auction show Homes Under The Hammer since 2003. He presents alongside Martel Maxwell, who replaced Lucy Alexander earlier this year and ex-footballer Dion Dublin. It follows home-seekers as they transform derelict properties at auction into refurbished houses.
Daniel Clark is a Local Democracy Reporter Service reporter, funded by the BBC and working for Trinity Mirror, based in Exeter. He covers Devon County Council and the district councils within the county.