Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Ottery’s allotments could be replaced with new houses in the future after it was revealed a developer is interested in building on the land.
Redrow, who own the field and let it back to the town council, have agreed to extend the lease until the end of 2014 – but said this week they are ‘investigating the possibility’ of developing the field.
However, the housebuilder says that if any construction takes place on the current allotment site, they would provide the same number of plots in an adjacent field.
At a council meeting on Monday, mayor Glyn Dobson told members he had met with representatives from Redrow to discuss a renewal of the lease which expired at the end of 2013.
“We were quite surprised with the response we got,” he said. “They have extended the lease for a full year – so we have got it for 12 months - and they also said they would like to build on that land.”
He added that there is a clause in the lease that allows Redrow to give three months’ notice if they change their mind before the end of the year.
“But they also said they would like to buy the land next door, donate it to the town and set it up as allotments,” said the mayor.
Lee Hawker, land director for Redrow South West, confirmed that the developer was looking at building new homes on the land.
He said: “One possibility we felt there was benefit in investigating further was that of relocating the existing allotments onto land immediately to the east of the existing site, with new housing being provided on the existing site.
“The number of allotment plots which would be provided on the relocation site would match that of the existing site, and the relocation site would need to be fully completed before any building work commences on the existing allotment site.”
Mr Hawker added that Redrow would be prepared to legally transfer ownership of the new allotment site to the town.
“In our opinion this solution not only safeguards allotment provision for future generations but also continues to bring much needed housing to the town and district,” he said.
Carl Richmond, chairman of the allotment committee, said the group did not wish to comment until a formal proposal came forward and all the details were available.