Town council rejects Gerway development

Gerway Nurseries. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref sho 2623-21-14AW Gerway Nurseries. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref sho 2623-21-14AW

Friday, June 20, 2014
5:00 PM

A proposed 45-home development on the southern edge of Ottery St Mary has failed to win the support of town councillors.

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Gerway Nurseries. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref sho 2624-21-14AWGerway Nurseries. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref sho 2624-21-14AW

Plans for the five-acre Gerway Nurseries site, off Sidmouth Road, would see most of the existing greenhouses and sheds demolished and new houses built in their place.

Addressing Ottery St Mary Town Council at a meeting on Monday, Simon Steele-Perkins, from landowners Waddington Park Ltd, said that more than 2000 leaflets had been distributed around the town.

He told the meeting that because the Island Farm site, which has planning permission for 165 houses and a care home, would not deliver the 200 homes required by district council planners, an additional development was needed to make up the shortfall.

Mr Steele-Perkins added that the outline proposal included plans to reduce the speed of traffic and improve pedestrian safety on Sidmouth Road - including new signage and narrowing the road in places.

But councillors and members of the public present at the meeting were largely critical of the proposals.

Claremont Field resident Deborah Morris said: “My concern is that you can’t change what is already there.

“The road is a very busy road – you can’t change the congestion.”

Councillor Roger Giles raised concerns over the ‘insufficient’ affordable housing on offer, additional pressure on the town’s services and the amount of extra traffic the homes would generate.

He added: “I find this a poor application, both in terms of concept and in the detail of it.”

Councillor Martin Thurgood described the proposal as a ‘random application’ which amounted to the ‘urbanisation of a scenic rural gateway to the town’.

“The road from the development in to the town regularly floods,” he said. “This proposed development is going to be cut off every time we have a significant flood event.”

Members voted unanimously not to support the proposal. A final decision will be made by planners at East Devon District Council.

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