Ottery Council blasts ‘unacceptable’ new homes scheme

An updated photomontage of the proposed development looking through the courtyard of The Old Manse in Mill Street. An updated photomontage of the proposed development looking through the courtyard of The Old Manse in Mill Street.

Monday, March 31, 2014
10:30 AM

Civic leaders have slammed a proposed eight-home development in the centre of Ottery St Mary as ‘really poor’, inappropriate’ and ‘totally unacceptable’.

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Revised plans for The Old Manse in Mill Street would see new townhouses built in the garden to the rear of the building.

The proposal would also see the ground floor of Everys solicitors building refurbished for cafe or retail use and the upstairs converted in to a maisonette.

The latest plans aim to reduce the visual impact of the development on the town’s conservation area by changing the new homes to two stories instead of three and altering the roof pitch to better match surrounding properties.

The application was considered by members of Ottery Town Council’s planning committee this week, who felt there were serious issues with a lack of parking spaces and the proposed access off Franklea Close.

Councillor Roger Giles said: “There is a lot wrong with this application - I’m amazed at this coming back in the form that it has.

“It was a really poor application in the first place and we have got something very similar here.”

Councillor Martin Thurgood described the proposal as a ‘gross overdevelopment’ of the site and said that an assertion by the developer that there is room for cars to park in the surrounding streets was ‘nonsense’.

“There is no room in Mill Street,” added Councillor Glyn Dobson. “I think the whole application is inappropriate for the site - eight houses in there is just not on.”

Councillor Jo Talbot made the point that the new cafe or drinking establishment would mean more cars and a greater need for parking spaces.

Members voted unanimously not to support the application, and repeated a previous request to East Devon District Council (EDDC) to take action over the unauthorised felling of trees on the site.

A decision on the application will be made by EDDC.

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