The fate of proposals for 10 apartments in The Avenues, Exmouth, is hanging in the balance after planning chiefs delayed their decision on the scheme.
Blueprints to demolish a detached house and garage at 28 Cranford Avenue and build the dwellings will now be the subject of a site visit.
They had been recommended for approval by East Devon District Council (EDDC) officers.
But Development Management Committee members deferred their decision at their October meeting and opted to visit the plot.
A two-and-a-half-storey building – which would accommodate eight two-bedroom and two three-bedroom apartments – is proposed.
A total of 22 parking spaces would also be created on the site.
The plans failed to win the support of all three Exmouth Littleham ward members.
Councillor Bruce De Saram told the meeting the mooted building ‘does not fit into its surroundings’.
Cllr Nick Hookway added: “I’m happy to see development on his site, but not this particular one.”
He added the scheme ‘clearly fails to respect the character and style of The Avenues’ and defied the Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan.
The document stipulates that any development should not cover more than 25 per cent of a plot – while the application in question took up 38 per cent of the site.
Cllr Eileen Wragg proposed a site visit and said: “What is being proposed looks to be a great improvement on what’s on there already.”
The committee agreed to visit the plot to address the concerns of neighbours and assess the impact on the character of the area.
The application received 21 objections and one expression of support.
The Avenues Residents’ Association (TARA),told that the proposed building was ‘too large, too high, [and]too near the neighbouring property’.
Chairman Deidre Jennings said: “Other parts of The Avenues do have apartment blocks and there is a danger of losing the special character of the locality with it becoming predominantly a retirement area of bland redevelopment.”
Recommending the bid for approval, EDDC officers had said: ”Whilst the scale of the proposed building would be larger than the existing dwelling and those close to the site, it is not considered to be detrimental to the visual amenity of the area given that it is set in from the boundaries of the site on a large plot, is designed with a central flat-roof to minimise its height and retains a traditional appearance.”
The proposals for 10 apartments are due to go back before the Development Management Committee later this month.
Plans for a 60-bed dementia care home with nursing accommodation on the site were rejected in 2014.