Council delays plan to sell ‘useless’ land

12:30 20 January 2014

A piece of council owned land on the banks of the River Otter is set to remain unused until the summer after civic leaders voted to defer a decision on its future.

Ottery Town Council is split over whether to sell the land, which is behind the Finnimore Industrial Estate, or to keep it and review the situation at a later date.

Members heard that the 1.6-acre flood plain field could be worth up to £25,000 – money that some councillors are keen to put towards other projects.

The land was bought using town funds in 2008 as part of plans for a footbridge across the river, but the bridge was subsequently built further downstream and the land has sat vacant since.

Addressing colleagues at a meeting last Monday, Councillor Paul Lewis said he felt the land had served its purpose and should be sold.

He added: “The land had a use when we bought it, but that strategic use no longer applies.

“I can’t see what the council are going to use it for, and I can’t see what a developer would use it for – I only see it as being a piece of land that is useless for us because it floods.

“Our responsibility is to use public money to the best advantage, and I think it is money that could be better used.”

Mayor Glyn Dobson said he was in favour of using cash from the sale of the land to help fund new public toilets at the Land of Canaan.

Deputy mayor Ian Holmes agreed – adding that the selling the flood-prone field could help the council ‘turn a bog into a bog’.

But Cllr Roger Giles said he thought a decision to put the land up for sale would be premature.

“It might be the right thing to do eventually but it is the wrong time now,” he added. “With all this development going ahead at Island Farm and the factory site, it might be a really strategic piece of land.”

Cllr George Hansford agreed: “Let’s wait and see what happens,” he said. “We aren’t desperate for the money.”

A proposal to put the field up for sale with a reserve price was narrowly defeated, and members instead agreed to revisit the issue in six months’ time.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Sidmouth Lifeboat's new tractor

The vital role of launching and recovering Sidmouth Lifeboat can continue with renewed vigour after the arrival of the crew’s new tractor.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:02
Baby Beaver.
Tom Buckley/Devon Wildlife Trust

Residents eager to find out more about the first baby beavers born on the River Otter are invited to attend a public meeting.

Read more
Wed, 16:33
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7712-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

A £500,000 budget has been proposed for the district council to provide dedicated gypsy sites across East Devon.

Read more
Wed, 12:29
Alan Durrant, chairman of Sid Vale Association, presents Dr Duncan Hall of the Beacon Medical Centre with a donation towards the planting of trees and shrubs around the grounds. Ref shs 9545-25-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth’s multimillion-pound medical centre has received a boost to its £16,000 project to improve the look of its car park.

Read more
Tue, 18:30
Wood(bury) Stock 2015. Doctors Orders. Photo: Neil Ewins.

A successful blues, roots and folk music festival took place recently at Woodbury’s Malsters Arms.

Read more
Tue, 12:29
Branscombe Preschool achieved an 'outstanding' result from their latest Ofsted inspection. Ref shb 9478-25-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Ofsted has give staff at Branscombe Pre-school top marks for their “innovative and exciting programme” after their latest inspection.

Read more
Tue, 11:00
Devon County Council is planning to close Green Close Care Home to cut costs

Sidmouth’s Green Close is being offered for tender and could reopen as a care home, offer other social care – or be converted into housing.

Read more
Tue, 06:33
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7712-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

The welfare of an endangered bat population at East Devon District Council’s Knowle site could be in jeopardy if planned building works go ahead, say worried residents.

Read more
St Saviours

Hopes of creating a new community hub and premises for Ottery Library have been dashed as county councillors ‘dug in their feet’ over conditions.

Read more
Mon, 16:19

Police have issued the all-clear after suspicious packages found in Exeter city centre have been safely dealt with.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 15°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition



Devon's trusted business finder