Ottery has gone under the hammer after planning permission has been granted to create an auction house in the town.

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Experienced auctioneer David Sumner is now able to hold monthly furniture and occasional antique and collectable sales in an empty industrial unit at the Finnimore estate.

He applied to the district council to change the use of two of the units from industrial to selling rooms, who approved the plans last week.

A report from planners said the concern was the potential loss of employment land, but as the new use would not be much different from what the units are currently use for it was not a problem.

The district council also said the auction room, which were supported by Ottery Town Council, would employ four to five members of staff, so would benefit the local job market.

Mr Sumner, from Taleford, said in his application he has ‘extensive knowledge’ of auctions, having worked in sales rooms locally and internationally for more than a decade, and comes from a family of antique dealers and collectors.

He said he chose Ottery as a location because there is a lack of competition in the area and local demand for modern furniture, but said his long-term goal is to expand into the Chinese market.

Mr Sumner said: “We would be taking over a redundant industrial unit, empty for more than two years, on the edge of Ottery and turning it into a vibrant business that can only add to the social and economic growth.”

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