Homes Under The Hammer host Martin Roberts has had his dreams of building a new home in Dartmouth dashed by the town council.

The BBC television presenter unveiled his vision at a planning meeting earlier this week, even taking a model of the proposed development along with him.

During the meeting on Tuesday, September 10. Mr Roberts told Dartmouth Town Council he bought a holiday home here around 20 years ago and now wants to make it home. The scheme would see a dwelling built on Waterpool Road, on land with the remnants of a stone barn. South Hams District Council will have the final say on the plans later this month.

Luscombe Maye agent Amanda Burden said that the “innovative” design would add a “contemporary touch” to a “heritage asset”. The planning application says that the development, which would be within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, seeks to “conserve and enhance the historic former linhay and provide a dwelling that enhances the landscape”.

Councillors were invited to view the model, and Roberts said he was more than happy to adapt the plans if they wished. Cllr Rob Lyon said it would be an “overdevelopment”, and Cllr Sally Hibbert said she was thinking “along the same lines”. Cllr Cathy Campos said she was “on the fence”. While Cllr Ged Yardy voiced concerns over safety.

Jawbones Hill resident, Keith Satchell wrote an objection conveying his worries that the house would lead to increased traffic through the “narrow” road. Another objecting resident, Alan Drew, said the “modern” design would not be in keeping with the surrounding area, and would “open the floodgates” for similar developments in the future.

Philip Charlesworth, on behalf of the Dartmouth and Kingswear Society, said: “The site is outside the settlement boundary of Dartmouth, in the AONB, in an area classified in the joint local plan as unsuitable for development. “The so-called linhay is essentially an extremely tall and probably very insecure retaining wall with a small ruinous farm building at the top. “The topography of the site is such that major excavations would be needed to enable the construction of a house, with a big impact on the appearance of the surrounding area. “There can be no good arguments for allowing development. “Furthermore, it is in the Special Area of Conservation for the greater horseshoe bat, an extremely endangered species.”

Councillors were split with two votes against and two votes in favour. Chairman Cllr Graham Evans, said he was planning to abstain, but cast the deciding vote against. The town council recommended refusal on the grounds that it would be an overdevelopment in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Roberts thanked them for their considerations. His plans will be discussed at a design review panel, before the final decision is made by SHDC. The target determination date is on September 24, 2019. The reference on the planning portal is: 2495/19/FUL.

Kingsbridge Gazette – Friday, 13 September 2019

by Emily Baker – Dartmouth Reporter


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