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New hope for derelict site after backing from Newton Abbot Town Council

A DERELICT eyesore in the heart of Newton Abbot could at last have a brighter future after the Town Council offered no objections to a scheme for 38 apartments and flexible retail space.

The former Seymour Howell car dealership site in Wolborough Street has been empty for 17 years.

It has become an overgrown wasteland and was unlawfully occupied by a caravan dweller.

Now, Newton Abbot Developments Ltd has submitted plans for a four-storey building which, if approved by Teignbridge District Council (TDC), would transform a blighted gateway to the town centre.

The firm said its 38 one and two bedroom apartments were ‘aimed at the retirement market’ and that the ground floor units would suit a number of uses.

The scheme differs from an earlier one which gained planning permission by increasing the number of flats but within a smaller footprint.

In its application, it said: ‘The design responds to local character and context of the built setting so that layout, scale, form, massing, height, density, colour, materials, detailing and impact on the built and natural heritage are all successfully addressed.’

A key consideration among Town Councillors was the scheme’s impact on the historic St Leonard’s Tower.

The firm said: ‘The prominence of the clock tower building is respected throughout and will remain the dominant form on the skyline.’

It added: ‘The proposed development will ensure the beneficial use of the site, improving community safety and surveillance and bringing life back to the street scene.’

Heritage expert Rhiannon Rhys at Historic England said St Leonard’s Tower would ‘retain a level of prominence within the streetscape’ and added: ‘The new building will also provide a sense of enclosure and finality to the varied street scape, “bookending” Wolborough Street and better framing the views.’

Welcoming the Town Council’s position, Town Development Manager Sally Henley said: ‘This derelict site is a high priority for the town and my personal view is that the proposed building will complete the gateway to our town.

‘Hopefully TDC will be happy with the changes, which they requested to the originally approved plan.

‘A developer will only be interested in buying this land from the current private owners if it comes with planning permission in place.

‘Should they reject this application there is a real possibility that we might be looking at this eyesore for another decade.’ 

The above image is from the applicant’s submission, reference number 22/00579/MAJ, which can be viewed on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Newton Abbot Town Council’s Planning Committee considered the application at its meeting on November 21. As a statutory consultee in the planning process, it cannot ‘support’ any application but is limited to offering ‘no objection’ or objecting because of concerns that a scheme does not accord with planning policy.


Newton Abbot Council News

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, pursuant to Section 87(2) of the Local Government Act 1972, that a vacancy exists in the office of Councillor for the Bradley Ward of Newton Abbot Town Council.

If, within fourteen working days after the date of this notice (i.e. by no later than 28th October 2020) a request to fill the vacancy by election is made in writing to the Proper Officer, Forde House, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 4XX by TEN electors of the Parish then an election will be held to fill the vacancy, otherwise the Parish Council will take steps to fill the vacancy by co-option.

IMPORTANT:  Please be advised that in accordance with the Coronavirus Act 2020 and The Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus) (Postponement of Elections and Referendums) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020, if an election is requested to fill this vacancy it will not take place before May 2021.

Signed:          Date: 8th October 2020


Town Clerk

Newton Abbot Town Council

Kieran Dore

Kieran Dore: an obituary

TRIBUTES have been paid to one of Newton Abbot’s unsung heroes who has died of cancer at the age of 68.

Kieran Dore was a familiar face around town having been born in Woodlands Road in 1951.

He attended St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and later Cuthbert Mayne School, Torquay.

After serving as an apprentice bricklayer for Ipplepen building firm F A Quick Kieran signed up for six years in the Royal Engineers.

He went on to work for construction firm Hugh Mills and Gaye and assisted with the extension to the town’s market.

When Denbury Camp was converted into HM Prison Channings Wood, Kieran joined the Prison Service and rose to be in charge of the building section.

He retired at the age of 55 but secured a job with Torbay Council as a maintenance engineer.

In 2014 the authority wanted to move his post from Torquay to Brixham but Kieran didn’t like the thought so applied for the job as handyman with Newton Abbot Town Council.

In that role he was often seen around town, assisting with the busy events schedule.

Kieran, a keen athlete and marathon runner, was also the man fit and lithe enough to don the ‘Newton’ character costume when promoting town projects.

Town Development Manager Sally Henley said: ‘Nothing was ever a problem for Kieran. He would bend over backwards whenever I needed help with an event in the town, whether it was the setting up of the Christmas grotto in the clock tower or sorting out gazebos and chairs for a Saturday morning town centre performance.

‘His energy, enthusiasm and relentless good humour made light work of tasks and it is difficult to grasp that he has been taken from us so unexpectedly. I will miss him terribly.’

Kieran served as an active member of Newton Abbot Carnival Committee and treasurer for Newton Abbot Athletics Club.

He helped train youngsters, qualified as a race starter for national events and was instrumental in establishing the Bovey Tracey Park Runs.

He was a season ticket holder for Exeter Chiefs RFC.

Lifelong friend Cllr Mike Ryan said: ‘We both grew up together in Woodlands Road on Buckland as neighbours between the 1950s and late 70s.

‘We did the usual things as teenagers with our other mates but always kept in touch after we went our separate ways when we met our girlfriends and got married.

‘Kieran has been my best mate for many years and I will miss him dreadfully. He was kind, considerate and willing to help anyone at the drop of a hat and he was there if you needed a shoulder to cry on.

‘He loved all his children and grandchildren.

‘Thank you Kieran, you were taken from us far too soon you will never be forgotten God Bless.’

Kieran is survived by five children and nine grandchildren.