Shops, apartments and roof garden plan for empty Exmouth premises aims to ‘transform upper part of Rolle Street’

Plans to overhaul an empty retail unit in Exmouth town centre with a pair of shops, two apartments and a roof garden have been unveiled.

The scheme would ‘transform the upper part of Rolle Street’, according to proposals submitted to East Devon District Council (EDDC).

They state the premises – formerly a kitchen showroom – is currently ‘extremely dilapidated’ and has sat vacant for three years.

Applicant Mr David Cockman has asked the authority for planning permission for a partial change of use from retail to residential at 40 Rolle Street.

He is also seeking the go-ahead for a first-floor extension – featuring a roof garden – and to sub-divide the existing single retail unit into two.

A new shop front is also proposed.

Woods Design says in a statement on behalf of the applicant: “The proposal will transform the upper part of Rolle Street by the creation of smaller, more manageable retail units – each with their own shopfront and identity.

“The proposal will also provide two separate residential units to add to the much-needed housing stock within the centre of Exmouth and East Devon as a whole.”

The application states the existing space, formerly home to a kitchen supplier, has been empty since 2016 and is ‘of an extremely dilapidated state of repair’.

“The proposal is to convert the existing very large ground-floor retail space into two very good-quality flats taking into consideration the views and opinions of the adjacent neighbours,” adds the statement.

“The remaining retail space will be converted into two high-quality retail units.”

The blueprints won the support of Exmouth Town Council’s planning committee at a meeting in early December.

Councillor Tim Dumper said: “I hope I wasn’t taken in and overwhelmed by the fact of the roof garden, the fact of the disability arrangements in there – but I loved the application and it obviously does form two retail units out of one, so it doesn’t necessarily take away employment land capacity.”

EDDC will decide the fate of the application.

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