They stood firm that the Doyle Centre site should be used for employment and community uses
The council’s Development Management Committee were asked to consider an application for the construction of ten dwellings on the site of the former Doyle Centre in Exmouth.
The Doyle Centre closed in 2013, but as a site formerly used for employment and community uses, it is protected under Strategy 32 of the East Devon Local Plan from being used for other purposes.
The Local Plan requires that sites used for employment and community purposes be retained unless strict criteria are met, which include that options for its retention for employment/community uses have been fully explored without success for at least 12 months and that there is a clear demonstration of surplus supply of land in the locality.
Council officers considered that the site had not been marketed sufficiently to demonstrate that the site could not be viably retained for employment or community purposes, while the need for such spaces in the locality had increased. Officers recommended refusal of the application on this basis.
“There is an essential need to protect employment and community spaces in our district, which is vital for ensuring that our communities remain vibrant, viable and able to meet the needs of residents in line with the aims of our Local Plan.”