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.