PegasusLife not listing Knowle Sidmouth as forthcoming development

Inputting “Sidmouth” into PegasusLife’s “current and future developments” website search brings up the nearest development as one in Bournemouth (Canford Cliffs) 70 miles away:

https://www.pegasuslife.co.uk/our-developments

And Pegasus Life appears in the last few days to have taken out a refinancing loan of MORE THAN HALF A BILLION POUNDS secured on its assets to provide capital for further growth:

Oz Real Estate completes £525m financing for retirement living company the PegasusLife group

“Damian Green: local authorities avoid care home developments”

Owl says: Didn’t stop EDDC flogging The Knowle to PegasusLifedid it! Though, of course, it will be DCC and the NHS that picks up the tab, not EDDC.

“Local authorities are increasingly reluctant to allow care homes and retirement homes to be built in their areas because they can’t afford the social care costs associated with that demographic, Conservative MP and former deputy prime minister Damian Green has said.

The chair of the all-party parliamentary group on longevity, who has produced his own policy paper suggesting a solution to the social care funding crisis, said it was a “quiet secret” that local authorities – who have to fund social care costs – try to avoid applications for homes for older people.

He also warned that unless all parties agree to seek a cross-party consensus on social care funding, a political crisis triggered by an “enormous scandal” will force them to act.

“We need to face up to these unpalatable truths,” he said. “The current system isn’t sustainable financially or politically. An enormous scandal will break and suddenly, there will be a political crisis. Cynically, it may be that we need something like that, but we should be able to avoid it because we know it is probably coming.

“Local authorities don’t want to become attractive places for retired people,” he added. “If things go on as they are, local authorities will become social care providers with everything else as ‘add-ons’ and the traditional things we all expect from them simply not existing.”

Age UK estimates that 1.4 million older people have unmet care needs. This is despite the average share of local authority funding going on adult social care reaching almost 25% of their total budget in 2017-2018.

Local authority budgets have seen devastating cuts under the Conservative government. Despite announcements of extra funds, and a £20bn boost to the NHS under Theresa May, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned of an £8bn funding black hole by 2025.

Last month, Jeremy Hunt – the longest-serving health secretary in British history – admitted social care cuts went too far on his watch.

On a BBC debate for the Conservative party leadership election, Hunt said: “I think having been responsible for health and social care, that some of the cuts in social care did go too far.”

Ian Hudspeth, chair of the Community and Wellbeing Board at the LGA, said: “I haven’t come across any planning permissions not being put forward in this way but we’re very aware that the social care structure is at a crisis point.”

He pointed to a recent report by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services which reported that almost half of councils have seen the closure of domestic home care providers in their area in the past year and a third had seen residential care homes closed, collectively affecting more than 8,000 clients and residents.

“There have been instances of care homes going out of business without warning and immediate pressure being put on local authorities to provide care and accommodation for their residents,” he added.

Green was speaking at a debate on Tackling Britain’s Care Crisis at the Resolution Foundation alongside Liz Kendall MP, former shadow minister for care, Norman Lamb MP, former minister for care, and David Willetts, president of the Intergenerational Centre.

All of the speakers called for a cross-party consensus on how to fund social care. There was wide agreement for a year-long programme of citizens’ assemblies and town hall meetings so the public could have their say.

Kendall said it was “absolutely a national imperative” that politicians create a cross-party consensus.

Lamb agreed, lambasting the current system as “completely dysfunctional”. It “fails people completely”, he said, criticising the government for failing to produce the long-awaited green paper.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said:
“People deserve to have a choice of high-quality care services wherever they live in the country. Local authorities are best placed to understand and plan for the care needs of their populations and are responsible for shaping their local markets so they are sustainable, diverse and offer high-quality care and support for local people.

“We have given local authorities access to up to £3.9bn more dedicated funding for adult social care this year with a further £410m available for adults’ and children’s services. We will set out our plans to reform the social care system at the earliest opportunity to ensure it is sustainable for the future.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jul/11/damian-green-local-authorities-avoid-care-home-developments?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

PegasusLife ‘to build in phases’ at Knowle

Owl says: Won’t be much fun for those in Phase 1 (or their neighbours) to live on or near a building site until other phases (how many?) are completed.

“… Sidmouth Town Council revealed on Monday night 3.5hectres of land at Knowle could be transferred sooner than expected after members were told the land and car park would not be available until the completion of PegasusLife’s 113-home retirement community.

Town clerk Christopher Holland told the meeting the developer has decided to build its 113-home retirement community in phases, rather than one go, meaning it will be able to contain its construction materials without using the public car park.

In November, the Herald revealed the developer had been allowed the use of the lower car park and meadow as storage space for the duration of the works. …”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/transfer-of-knowle-parkland-to-sidmouth-town-council-moved-up-1-5992919

McCarthy and Stone poor results: closing operations in south-west – whither PegasusLife now?

“A slowdown in secondary housing transaction volumes eroded operating margins for McCarthy & Stone (MCS) during the first-half, as the retirement home providers used discounts and incentives – including part-exchange – to boost sales.

Management hopes to make more than £90m in cash savings between 2019 and 2021 by scaling back sales and marketing teams, standardising build designs and closing operations in the south-west of England.”

https://www.investorschronicle.co.uk/shares/2019/04/10/mccarthy-stone-hindered-by-property-slowdown/

AND

“Half-year profits at McCarthy & Stone tumbled by two-thirds as it ploughed more cash into a turnaround to cope with a slowdown in the housing market.

The retirement housebuilder handed consultants £4.5m for advice relating to its strategy shake-up, which included closing offices in Scotland and the south-west of England and making almost 200 of its 2,500 staff redundant at a cost of £3.5m.

Those and other one-off costs left McCarthy & Stone with pre-tax profits of £3.6m for the six months to February, down from £10.5m the previous year.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/04/10/redundancies-restructuring-hit-mccarthy-stone-profits/

EDDC HQ move cost neutral? Don’t make Owl laugh!

“… The new headquarters cost the council £8.7m, while an additional £1.5m was spent on upgrading Exmouth Town Hall – where one third of the council staff are to be based.

The Knowle has been sold to developers Pegasus Life for £7.5m, which has been granted planning permission to convert the building into a 113-apartment [top-end luxury] assisted-living community for older people. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-47369240

It has been estimated by a local property developer that the new HQ has a market value of no more than £3.5 million.

“Doctors say a new retirement village in Torbay will put too much pressure on care services ‘close to breaking point’ ” – and Sidmouth?

“Doctors are objecting to plans for a retirement village in Torbay because of the pressure extra elderly residents will add to local health and care services “already close to breaking point.”

English Care Villages has submitted plans to Torbay Council for a 159-home “continuing care retirement community” at Sladnor Park, a former holiday park near the village of Maidencombe on the coast between Torquay and Shaldon.

Maidencombe Residents Association says the apartments would be too expensive for locals and the isolated site two and a half miles from the nearest urban centre at St Marychurch would bring in outsiders who would increase pressure on health and care services.

Objections to the plan include one from Torquay GP, Dr Roger Fearnley, who warned health services were already “close to breaking point” and said the Sladnor park development would attract people retiring from outside the local area.

He said in a comment on the planning application: “This influx of people would put significant further strains on health and social care services which are already close to breaking point.

“I am not aware of any meaningful conversations between the developers and local GP practices. There seems to be the assumption ‘we will cope.’ We may not.”

Retired GP Dr Vivienne Thorn, who lives at Maidencombe, objected to the plan mainly because of its impact on local care services, and also questioned whether its isolated site could turn it into a “rich person’s ghetto”. She said the impact on health and social care had not been properly assessed.

Dr Thorn wrote: “An additional 200 elderly people will place an intolerable strain on GP and Community services.”

Richard Whistance, of Sladnor Park Road, near the development site, said approving the scheme would ruin the natural environment of the land and open the door to developing other countryside areas. He said it would affect rare wildlife including legally protected bats, slow worms, badgers, cirl buntings and nesting buzzards.

He said: “This is not to be ignored; especially in these times of rapacious development and ecological destruction, Sladnor Park needs preserving as countryside.” …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/doctors-say-new-retirement-village-2313490

Sidmouth flood defences delayed so PegasusLife can gobble up car parks and meadows to store building materials!

“A £750,000 scheme to protect hundreds of town-centre homes and businesses from flooding looks set to be delayed until the building of a controversial 113-home retirement community at Knowle is completed.

The news comes after the district council agreed with developers PegasusLife to allow the use of the lower car park and nearby flower meadow for storage space during construction. It is not yet clear on what basis the council’s car park is being used.

The use of the lower car park would mean phase two of the £759,000 Sidmouth Surface Water Improvement Scheme will have to be redrawn as the proposed lagoon feature and above ground storage area are located adjacent to the car park.

Devon county councillor Stuart Hughes said officers will meet the district council on Thursday (November 29) to discuss options at the site.

Cllr Hughes said: “After all the work that’s gone into getting the funding for the scheme, it will be delayed.

“East Devon District Council [EDDC] has agreed to the storage equipment of PegasusLife for their construction and will not allow county to use this area until after construction is complete.

“Hopefully the officers will find out at the meeting which option they prefer and whether we can achieve the level of flood improvements we desire.

“I do hope that we can find an alternative for the lagoon SUDS system so that the 300 properties and businesses in the town will be protected from future flood events.”

An EDDC spokeswoman said the authority is in discussion with the partners involved.

In January, PegasusLife won an appeal to turn EDDC’s headquarters at Knowle into a large scale 113-home retirement community after its application was rejected in December 2016.

Campaigner Ed Dolphin has slammed the use of the car park as a ‘slap in the face’ and claims it is likely to be a blow to Sidmouth’s economy as it might affect the park and walk service into town.

Mr Dolphin said: “Many people objected to the Knowle development as a blight on the green corridor as visitors entered the town. This move will bring it to the forefront, right down to the roadside.

“Even worse, it seems that the developers need even more space and so they are to be given the flower meadow next to the car park as well, the one that was mown by mistake in the summer and which EDDC promised to care for in the future. The meadow is already waterlogged for the winter and storing building materials and machinery on it will probably ruin it for years.

“I do not see why PegasusLife need this extra space, their site has three large car park areas that could be used for storage at various times in the development.”

He called the park and walk car park in Station Road a ‘valuable asset’ as it reduced the strain on the town centre, was popular in the winter and boosted the town’s independent traders.

PegasusLife has been approached for a comment.”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/eddc-pegasuslife-throw-flood-scheme-at-knowle-into-question-1-5798537