Go-ahead for 130-room hotel at caravan and camping plot on East Devon and Exeter border

A 130-bedroom hotel can be built on the border of Exeter and East Devon, after the scheme was approved by a government planning inspector. 

Hill Pond Caravan and Camping Park successfully appealed against the district council’s non-determination of its proposals for an L-shaped venue just off the A3052.

The site is next to Hill Barton Business Park and across the road from Exeter City FC’s training ground and Crealy, near Westpoint.

Planning inspector Andrew Spencer-Peet said that the economic benefits of the new hotel were evident and that it would address the acknowledged current shortfall of holiday accommodation in the area.

He added that the benefits of the proposal carried sufficient weight to justify allowing the appeal.

Bryan Turner, on behalf of WWD Ltd, acting in conjunction with Taylor-Whitehouse Planning, said that the approval of the hotel will add ‘extra stimulus’ to the area around Westpoint and Crealy.

The approved plan for a new 130-bed hotel at Hill Pond. Image: WWD Ltd.

The approved plan for a new 130-bed hotel at Hill Pond. Image: WWD Ltd.

He added: “The decision recognised a clearly pent-up and demonstrated need for such accommodation, together with the significant economic benefits it would provide.”

Plans for the hotel stated: “The site is surrounded by existing and established business parks, farm shops, leisure and tourism and the Westpoint showground and arena.

“There are approximately 350,000-400,000 visitors to Westpoint each year with additional exhibitors an event set up crews.

“The hotel would provide a benefit to the local economy in terms of employment creation, as well as encouraging additional visitor numbers in a position where the travel distances would be very short to a number of year-round business sites where accommodation could assist those businesses too.”

Mr Spencer-Peet said his report: “The scheme would provide significant employment opportunities both during the construction phase and in relation to the hotel and the facilities that it would provide.

“Furthermore, the proposal would help address the acknowledged current shortfall of holiday accommodation in the area, with visitors likely to contribute to the viability of local businesses and nearby visitor attractions.”

He added that, while there was some conflict with the Local Plan, the benefits of the proposal would carry sufficient weight to justify allowing the appeal.

East Devon District Council would have resolved to refuse planning permission had the decision not been taken away from it by the appeal against non-determination.

Issuing its ‘would have refused’ notice, the authority said there was an absence of robust evidence of need and demand for a hotel in the location.

But Mr Spencer-Peetmallowed the appeal, subject to 15 conditions being met.

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