BREAKING: Knowle relocation project: Lifestory/Pegasus to sell site to McCarthy Stone

Redevelopment of The Knowle – Update

“McCarthy Stone will be preparing alternative proposals for The Knowle’s redevelopment, which as a result will have to be the subject of a new planning application.”

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The sorry saga of the Knowle ‘relocation project’ is still with us, some years on:

And further questions about how the costs and value have been calculated…

Knowle relocation project: some reflections – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Looking at the current situation, a year ago, Lifestory (formerly Pegasus), the developers who bought the Knowle site, undertook the minimum work to ensure they didn’t ‘lose’ the planning permission they had painstakingly gained:

Knowle relocation project: digging a hole on-site – Vision Group for Sidmouth

At the end of last year, they wanted to tweak their application:

Knowle relocation project: a variation on plans: of bats and demolition – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Although Councillors had concerns when this went to the Town Council early this year:

PL.-MINS.-020222.pdf

If you go to the ‘developments’ page of the Lifestory website, the Knowle doesn’t appear at all – and, in fact, never has:

Pegasus Retirement Properties & Developments

So, what exactly is happening?

Yesterday afternoon, local residents received this letter from Lifestory’s Regional Managing Director – and has been published here with permission from residents:

27 May 2022

Dear Neighbour,

Redevelopment of The Knowle – Update

You’ll know from our earlier updates, that we’ve been considering the options for the redevelopment of The Knowle and we wanted to let you know about the decision that we’ve now reached.

As the focus on the types of later living schemes we’re now developing has moved on from when the original planning permission was granted, we’ve carefully considered various options for the site’s redevelopment. Over the last few months as we’ve been reviewing the various ways that the site’s redevelopment could be successfully achieved, interest has been expressed in The Knowle by another housebuilder.

While our aim in terms of all sites that we acquire an interest in is to create and operate successful new developments, in this instance we’ve taken the unusual and difficult decision to sell The Knowle to McCarthy Stone. We’ve only recently finalised the sale agreement, so we’re sharing this update with you at the earliest possible opportunity.

We know that McCarthy Stone will be preparing alternative proposals for The Knowle’s redevelopment, which as a result will have to be the subject of a new planning application. In our discussions with McCarthy Stone’s team, we’ve been clear to stress the importance of talking to the local community, particularly immediate site neighbours, as part of any future work associated with revised plans. Like us, we know that McCarthy Stone places time and effort on community relations and consultation, so we understand they’ll be in touch shortly. If you do have any immediate questions, however, please contact Ben Farnes on 0800 298 7040.

We’re grateful for the patience that’s been shown to us, particularly lately while we’ve been considering the options for the site’s redevelopment.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Harrison

Regional Managing Director

Lifestory Group Limited, registered in England & Wales, number: 08221003 registered office: 105-107 Bath Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL53 7PR

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