Plans to turn closed Sidmouth care home into family dwellings are unveiled

Plans to convert a former Sidmouth care home into six family dwellings have been unveiled.

Proposals for the closed Bindon Residential Home in Winslade Road have been submitted to East Devon District Council (EDDC).

Four detached and two terraced houses, all with off-street parking, will be created if the scheme is given the go-ahead.

Applicant Mr Chris De Verenne has asked for permission for the site to be converted for residential purposes.

The 42-bed Bindon Residential Home, which provided care for elderly people suffering from dementia, shut in early 2019.

It was rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in March of that year.

The planing application states: “Bindon care home has been operating in a financially unsustainable position for a number of years, and the decision to close the premises was taken in early 2019.

“Despite extensive marketing, it is considered the level of investment required to bring the property up to the modern standard necessary for its continued use as a care home renders the business as a going concern financially unviable.

“For this reason, the proposals forming this planning application seeks to change the planning use and return the former dwellings back to residential.”

From the planning application - proposals for the former Bindon care home in Sidmouth. Image: BRL Architects

From the planning application – proposals for the former Bindon care home in Sidmouth. Image: BRL Architects

Sidmouth How the Winslade Road site looks now. Image: Google Maps

The former care home is in Winslade Road. Image: Google Maps

The plans add: “The proposed change of use…enables valuable existing building stock within a main town centre location to be converted back to their original purpose.

“In accordance with national and local planning policy, this highly sustainable site will provide additional family accommodation in an established residential area, without the requirement for significant alterations to the existing building or landscaped areas to the street.”

The application says the properties that form Bindon were converted to a care home in the early 1980s and have undergone ‘significant alterations’ over the years.

These include several extensions to the rear and ‘link sections’ allowing the former detached properties to be connected into a single terrace.

The blueprints add: “The intention is to return each of the former detached and terraced properties to large family dwellings, with off-street parking (accessed via existing dropped kerbs from the highway) and large rear gardens.

“The scale of the existing care home will remain fundamentally unchanged, albeit some minor demolitions to link sections and single-storey structures to the rear are necessary.

“The design proposals include minor modifications to the external appearance of the property facing Winslade Road such as the removal of the link sections.

“By removing these link sections, which were later extensions to the original dwellings, the properties numbered 36 to 42 will return to detached family homes forming six properties in total.

“The properties numbered 32 to 34 will remain terraced, as the original properties.”

On the loss of a care facility, the plans state: “Recent planning permissions granted for care home facilities in Sidmouth ensure that the supply of bed spaces will inevitably outstrip demand, and these modern facilities will meet the required accommodation standards demanded by the CQC and other regulatory bodies.

They add: “The principle justification for Bindon’s closure as a care home provider rests with the current condition of the property, its poor layout and inadequate scope for structural adaptability to meet the needs of its occupants and staff.”

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