PegasusLife says Knowle to retain age restriction (for now?)

“… When approached for a comment by the Herald, a PegasusLife spokesman said: “The approved scheme at Portishead has a very different level of care requirement in terms of hours of care required and scope of what is included in the definition of care compared to the Sidmouth development.

“We have no plans to submit an application to remove the age restriction or change the use class at Sidmouth.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/developers-pegasuslife-assure-the-same-won-t-happen-in-sidmouth-as-it-did-in-portishead-1-6325896

BUT PegasusLife is merging with two other companies

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/10/05/big-changes-for-pegasuslife-maybe-knowle-wont-be-retirement-homes/

and will soon be called “Lifestory” – will new brooms sweep in different directions?

Sale of Knowle site to PegasusLife – final numbers in

You decide whether it represents value for money (and maybe take some developer costs with big pinches of salt):

District council reveals how much developer will pay for former Sidmouth HQ – with new retirement community ‘set to be worth £50m’

Big changes for PegasusLife – maybe Knowle won’t be retirement homes …

“Property developers PegasusLife, Anthology and Renaissance Retirement have announced that the three companies will merge to create Lifestory, a housebuilder that will cater to every rung on the property ladder, from starter to retirement homes.

Lifestory will operate across three regions, creating developments under all three of the existing brands through local teams. PegasusLife Group CEO, Mark Dickinson, becomes Lifestory’s CEO with three regional Managing Directors reporting to him.

The South and South West region will be led by Marc Evans, currently Chief Operating Officer at PegasusLife Group; the North and Midlands by Mike Gill, currently Regional Development Director at PegasusLife Group; and the London and South East region by Steve Bangs, currently Managing Director at Anthology.

Lifestory will be backed and funded by Oaktree Capital Management, current majority owner of both Anthology and the PegasusLife Group.

Focusing on the full spectrum of property development, the three regions will build homes tailored to first time buyers through to older customers looking to downsize.

Mark Dickinson, Lifestory CEO said: “We have created Lifestory to bring together three strong customer facing brands that will deliver on our goal to transform customer experience when buying a new home, whatever stage of life our customers are at.

“This is an exciting new venture for Anthology, PegasusLife and Renaissance Retirement as each company brings a range of strengths to the combined business, but at the core is a commitment to providing outstanding customer experience.

“Our customers’ shared aspirations for quality homes and quality of life is at the centre of our business model, with their stories and lives at the heart of our ethos and approach.

“The combined regional companies have been rebranded Lifestory, however we will continue to trade to our customers through our sub-brands. This flexible approach allows us to address the needs of different customers and communities across the country.

“The collective portfolio currently amounts to some 50 projects and with the launch of Lifestory, we have ambitious growth plans to double this within a three-year period. Our refreshed and united approach sets us in a strong and unique position to successfully achieve these targets.”

Three developers merge to create new housebuilder Lifestory

PegasusLife removes age restriction on luxury Portishead flats (“not viable” they say)

Seems about the same size as the proposed Sidmouth development at the old EDDC HQ, but without the sea views and parkland location …

“Pegasus Life unveiled proposals to change the use of its recently-completed Marina Gardens project, in Martingale Way, at Portishead Town Council’s meeting on September 11.

The developer completed construction of the 126-home complex – intended for ‘assisted living’ for elderly people – over the summer, but has decided its plans ‘won’t work financially’.

Instead, it will submit an application to North Somerset Council to remove the age restriction to allow the properties to be sold on the open market.

An additional apartment will be created as a result, while 38 will be earmarked for affordable housing schemes.

Emma Webster, Pegasus Life’s head of corporate affairs, said: “As we headed towards the final stages of the development, one of the things we have discovered is quite a lot has gone on.

“In the intervening period (since the application), there have been a number of developments built in North Somerset to address the requirement (for assisted living homes).

“We have taken the decision the application we secured consent for won’t work financially.”

The developer plans to increase parking capacity from 96 to 127 and Ms Webster believes the homes will offer a better ‘quality of life’ for owners.

She also told councillors the firm sees a need for ‘this type of accommodation in Portishead’, and will not be ‘importing people into the area’.

The plans were met with anger from members of the public.

Portishead resident Ken Smith, after hearing Pegasus Life’s presentation, described the development as the ‘worst building in Portishead’.

He continued: “I could probably live with it if you were going to look after old people, but you’ve realised you’re not selling them and you need to make more money by selling to any Tom, Dick and Harry.

“I think you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

Jonathan Mock labelled the building ‘horrific’ in public participation.

“It has all the charm of something from the communist bloc in terms of architecture,” he added.”

https://www.northsomersettimes.co.uk/news/marina-gardens-plans-changed-1-6273316?

Blackout (whoops, sorry, Blackdown) House – is the EDDC HQ best value?

Owl sees that relocating is expected to save £1.4 million over 20 years, according to a recent DevonLive article, mentioned earlier by EDW:

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/questions-hang-air-over-council-3148843

Owl wonders whether they are comparing Honiton to Knowle, or whether they are comparing the running costs of Honiton and Exmouth to Knowle. Is it apples with apples or apples with pears or apples with pears and jackfruit?

At a very minimum, the total cost of relocation was £10 million, but nearer £15 million is more likely, since all costs have yet to be fully accounted for.

So the putative savings per annum of £70,000 will not even cover the interest payments on the relocation debt and, if so, East Devon’s residents will be saddled with an increasing debt burden as the years go by. The relocation debt will almost certainly never be repaid – certainly not by the trivial cost savings achieved by the new building.

As most East Devon residents live on the coast, particularly of course Exmouth, and most of their councillors do likewise, Honiton is quite a remote location, certainly much less accessible than Sidmouth, particularly by public transport at appropriate times. So getting to the new HQ is more difficult and costly. It will be interesting to see how the travel expenses of staff and members compare to the Knowle years. Will the increased travel costs wipe out some or all of the £70,000 ‘savings’?

How long before Blackball (whoops, sorry Blackdown) House is deemed ‘not fit for purpose’? Judging by the inadequacy of the main chamber:

and the seemingly insurmountable parking and access issues, not to mention unpopular open-plan hot-desking and general inaccessibility, it would seem that day has already arrived.

Where shall we go next? Skypark? Cranbrook Town Centre? Exmouth seafront?

Perhaps PegasusLife could be prevailed upon to sell Knowle back to EDDC? With a refurbishment of the newer section of the Knowle and an extended “green” parkland to offset the global heating crisis, EDDC would probably be quids in.

AND, of course, with a ground source heat pump, up-to-date insulation, proper maintenance and warmer global temperatures, there would be none of those pesky utility bills EDDC were so secretive about when they were previously there!