New plans to demolish Exeter’s Buckerell Lodge hotel


Plans are now back on the table to demolish Exeter’s Buckerell Lodge hotel and build apartments for retirees five months after planning permission for similar plans was refused.

In January, Exeter City Council’s planning department rejected plans submitted by McCarthy & Stone to build, demolish the Topsham Road hotel and replace it with 60 retirement flats. Reasons given included its size, position, the exterior appearance of the building, the layout of the site and the unnecessary loss of existing protected trees.

The denial notice said it presented an “unduly large, unsympathetic and ill-conceived form of development which would not fit comfortably into its grounds or with the character of the local area”. He added that he had not provided adequate private amenity space for the apartments.

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The new application, again submitted by McCarthy & Stone, increased the number of retirement apartments from three to a total of 63 houses with shared facilities and 43 parking spaces. The building itself will have two and three floors.

Its planning statement reads: “The site has recently become vacant and it has been considered prudent to provide much needed independent accommodation for the aging populations of Exeter in a desirable location close to the centre. It is proposed that the retirement accommodation be located close to the footprint of the existing building, making best use of and enhancing existing mature trees and planting on site, building on the natural, protected setting of the existing building.”

The elevation is

He continued: “This well-designed development would provide much needed specialist housing in an urban location, helping to prevent new housing on unused land. The proposed development represents sustainable development, with social and planning benefits, both for potential residents and the community as a whole.”

Among the changes he made to previous plans, the documents state:

The south elevation
The south elevation

  • The new footprint also provides additional amenity space to help compensate for downed trees, maintaining the ‘green’ character of the site.

  • By rearranging the apartments on the ground floor and moving the mobile scooter shop to an external shop, it was possible to increase the common area of ​​the owner’s living room

  • An extension inspired by the orangery has also made it possible to further enlarge the common area of ​​the owner’s lounge

The existing and proposed new footprint
The existing and proposed new footprint

The Buckerell Pavilion itself was originally built in 1878 and is said to have been “originally the country seat of a regency squire”. It was a large Victorian family home similar to others found in the suburbs of Exeter.

In June 2020 it was announced that the hotel, one of three under the parent company of Suite Hospitality Ltd, had gone into administration after a ‘disappointing’ year in 2019, followed by more financial difficulties due of the lock.

The hotel has 54 en-suite bedrooms and has hosted weddings for many locals over the years and currently remains open.

The development would be occupied by an older age group, with the minimum age for additional care occupancy being 70. McCarthy & Stone specializes in retirement residences for sale or for rent.

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