Monday, June 16, 2014
A former employee of the Salston Manor has started an online campaign to pressure the owners of the derelict hotel to start work before the building is beyond repair.
Sarah Weare, who set up the ‘Save our Salston’ group, hopes her campaign will serve as a reminder to Ottery residents that the building has sat empty for more than six years.
“I feel very angered about what’s happening with the Salston,” said the Mill Street resident. “It’s such a shame to watch a flagship hotel fall into this sorry state.
“Nothing is happening with it, and it’s an important part of Ottery.
“It’s beyond belief what it is like now – it can’t just sit there and be allowed to decay.”
The hotel closed its doors in 2007, and a proposal to adapt the property for use as a care home was given the go-ahead by East Devon District Council (EDDC) in 2009.
The site was sold in 2011, and Jirehouse Capital, the solicitors acting on behalf of the new owners, submitted new plans to convert the building in to 25 flats.
But an EDDC spokesperson said this week the owners are still in negotiation over a legal agreement which must be signed off before work can begin.
The only work to have taken place at the 19th century building was in late 2011 when EDDC, under pressure from Ottery Town Council, ordered the owners to make urgent repairs to the roof.
“It would be amazing to see it restored, but I’m worried it isn’t going to happen,” added Sarah. “I’m worried the owners are just waiting for the property to reach such a state of disrepair so they can demolish it.
“It would be great to see it back in use by the community.”
Her Facebook page, which was set up on Saturday, has already received more than 210 ‘likes’ and can be found by searching for ‘Save our Salston – SOS’.