Roebuck House update


The saga of Roebuck House is continuing.

The latest state of affairs seems to be:

  • Roebuck went back to auction last week and was sold to the original local developer, who favours setting-up the hub.
  • Everything is lined up, with the Pharmacy, GPs and the Community Hub (2 floors in total)
  • Other serious interest/plans would appear to be: Devon Partnership Trust (1 floor), a housing association (2-3 floors), plus a shop (lower ground), and 2 new floors for housing (built on top)
  • It seems the new owner is now trying to renegotiate the original deal for the hub, but at a far higher price. They say this is because planners are insisting on more expensive aluminium windows.
  • There is to be a meeting with the Mayor and owners next week and there needs to be a compromise to keep the plan alive – but time is running out.
  • Grants secured from 4 statutory agencies (£20k) need to be paid out by 31 March or they will be forfeited.
  • There is a need for local pressure to be brought to bear.  For instance: 
    • Will the insistence on window type scupper the whole project? 
    • There is huge support locally for a multi-use building with housing, health and community amenity, plus a place for community capacity building to take place.
    • It would be very unfortunate to see this project, which local people support, scuppered.  This is possible, particularly in the current climate of cuts and uncertainty.
    • If this scheme doesn’t come off, the building is likely to remain empty and continue to deteriorate for some time

    What are your thoughts – use the comments below to voice your opinions and SLRA will make your views known to relevant authorities.


  1. I agree with previous comments re. adding to height of Roebuck House with housing, and the knock-on effect on already squeezed parking in the area. The hub sounds like a good project and I hope plans are passed in time to secure the funding and to avoid another empty building deteriorating further.

  2. My only concern is talk of an additional two floors, we have parking problems enough here and this will only as to them.

    • I, too, am concerned about two additional floors. Even now, Roebuck House is tall and very prominent, and I believe two extra floors would compound its ugliness. I would not support housing in Roebuck at all.

      I do, however, support it having appropriate windows.

      Hopefully, sensible business discussions can resolve issues and allow the hub project to go ahead.

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