Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Council delays plan to sell ‘useless’ land

PUBLISHED: 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’s ‘active and vibrant’ Inner Wheel group celebrated its diamond anniversary this week with a celebratory meal at the Victoria Hotel.

Read more

District council bosses have come under fire for splashing nearly £3,000 on a black-tie civic dinner, when many taxpayers – who footed the bill – are ‘struggling’.

Read more
15:50

From the archives - Sidmouth Town football flashback.

Read more
14:42

‘Be alert, not alarmed’ is the message coming from police in the wake of the attack in Westminster yesterday (Wednesday)

Read more

A ‘powerful’ video featuring a Sidmouth family has been released to highlight the need for more funding into brain tumour research.

Read more

Landlords are being urged to come forward if they have family-sized properties that could be used to house vulnerable Syrian refugees.

Read more
11:40

A woman’s charity head shave became a real family affair when she was joined by her dad, husband and father-in-law.

Read more
09:47

Business leaders are planning a candlelit dinner in place of the town’s traditional street party as part of the Sidmouth Regatta celebrations. Chamber of commerce president Richard Eley said there is no standout event in the calendar like the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012, so Sunday, August 27, is a fitting provisional date.

Read more
09:27

Devon and Somerset Trading Standards has warned businesses to be on the lookout for a tool sharpening scam.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:30

Public defecation, aggressive begging and harassment should all be added to a new order being drawn up for Sidmouth, according to civic leaders.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

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

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications