Knowle Relocation Project: and social housing

“It is the intention that part of the building should be used for housing (the major part of the purchase price is for this purpose) and the remainder for improved council accommodation…” (Sidmouth Herald: 15th January 1968)

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Once upon a time, the District Council shared the former Knowle hotel with council tenants.

Indeed, very early on, when the District Council had been looking to purchase the Knowle hotel in the 1960s, housing was not only its priority, but it wished to make good use of the current site:

“It is the intention that part of the building should be used for housing (the major part of the purchase price is for this purpose) and the remainder for improved council accommodation…” (Sidmouth Herald: 15th January 1968)

However, once the council had established itself at the Knowle, the council discovered it needed more space and so had to find alternative housing for its tenants:

In other words, the former Victorian hotel has provided housing for local people in the past.

With thanks to Sidmouth Museum for access to the archive:

Sid Vale Association – Sidmouth Museum

Home – Sidmouth Herald

Futures Forum: Knowle plans: flats

Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: refurbishing a Victorian building >>> and the promise of social housing at Knowle

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From the Futures Forum archive from two years ago:

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Affordable housing in East Devon

The CEO of the District Council has claimed that “The inspector accepted the many benefits that will come to Sidmouth as a result of the proposals put forward by PegasusLife” for developing Knowle:

Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: BREAKING NEWS >>> PegasusLife appeal allowed > latest reports

Affordable housing is not one of them, however.

On the one hand, the District Council is fighting for such provision at another development in Sidford, Sidmouth:

Futures Forum: Sidford and affordable housing > of ‘viablity’ and ‘overage’

But on the other hand it has been happy to accept that there should be no such provision at Knowle:

Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: PegasusLife pleading poverty: “specialists in development viability have confirmed that the development cannot afford to meet the council’s policy requirements for affordable housing”

Of course, the District Council could have built social housing at Knowle – one better than affordable housing:

Futures Forum: Save Public Land

Futures Forum: Council-owned land for social housing

Futures Forum: A solution to our housing problems > allow councils to consolidate their assets under an urban wealth fund > to build social housing

But, then, the pressures not to provide social or affordable housing are pretty high:

Futures Forum: Developers ‘forcing’ local councils to allow more housing… as long as its not affordable housing

And yet, looking at the latest press release from the District Council, you would have thought that such housing was a ‘high priority’:

26 January 2018 – Aiming high – council sets sights on delivering even better housing opportunities for all in East Devon – East Devon

   
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