Redevelopers plough ahead with Honiton historic site demolition plans

An historic site with agricultural significance in the heart of Honiton could be demolished to make way for a multi-storey retirement home complex, if plans get the go-ahead.

Hannah Corfield

Honiton Livestock Market

Honiton Livestock Market

Architect illustration of the proposed development. Picture: Churchill Retirement Living

Architect illustration of the proposed development. Picture: Churchill Retirement Living

A redevelopment proposal for Honiton Livestock Market, located just off Silver Street, was submitted to planning authorities at East Devon District Council (EDDC) on November 6.

Churchill Retirement Living seeks permission for ‘demolition of existing buildings’ to build a block of ’57 retirement apartments including communal facilities, access, car parking and landscaping’.

It comes after Churchill held a public consultation in Mackarness Hall back in March of this year to speak to locals affected by the town centre redevelopment plans.

Many residents have expressed strong objections to the proposals; citing impractical vehicular access down a small one-way road and close proximity to a high school and sports facilities used by families, among other reasons.

Historic site

Planning documents include a description detailing the historic significance of the Cattle Market.

It states: “The site is located just outside the historic core of Honiton. Forming part of a wider agricultural hinterland from the medieval period onwards, its immediate environs were subject to industrial and residential expansion and development in the later post-medieval and modern periods.

“From the early twentieth century onwards the site was utilised as Honiton Livestock Market and it has been subject to several phases of reorganisation and development associated with this use.”


So far, three people have commented on the planning application posted on the EDDC website – all objecting to the proposals.

Mr Hennessey wrote: “The destruction of Holyshute House and the adjacent, historically important toll house should serve as a warning of what happens when large, aggressive retirement companies are not subject to proper planning process.”

Mrs Howe, highlighting the issue of traffic, said: “The one-way system of traffic from the High Street via Silver Street, St Cyres Road and Dowell Street is so constrained as to make this proposal utterly nonsensical.

“Although the proposal is for sheltered accommodation and one may assume that the residents will not be major car users, the staff, visiting services and relatives will present a considerable addition to the existing traffic.”

In support of the plans

Managing Director of Churchill Retirement Living in-house planning consultancy, Stuart Goodwill said: “There is a compelling overall housing need in Honiton, especially for older people.

“Our proposed development will go some way to increasing access to this type of housing for local residents.

“By meeting this rising demand, we can allow older people to downsize and free up under occupied houses in the local area for families.

“The site is excellently located on previously developed land within easy walking distance of the town centre.

“As well as meeting the need for high-quality retirement apartments, the development will bring benefits to the local economy.

“Owners will be within easy walking distance of shops, restaurants and other amenities in the town, helping to boost local businesses.”