130 home plan for Ottery criticised

An application to build 130 homes in Ottery has been criticised by a local campaign group after it was submitted this week.

Residents group Protect Ottery St Mary (POSM) formed at the end of last year after Redwood Homes showed an intention to develop its land behind Butts Road.

And now the scheme, for up to 130 houses including a proportion of affordable homes and a plan to preserve Ottery’s allotments, has been submitted for approval by the district council.

POSM began distributing leaflets and encouraging residents to attend town council meetings relating to housing numbers in the new ‘Local Plan’, after being galvanized by the potential development on their doorstep.

Several of the group’s members live next to where the entrance to the new estate would be created at the end of Butts Road, and are currently trying to assist other residents put their objections across ‘in the most effective way’.

The group is focusing on three main factors in its opposition to the plans; traffic problems, strain on infrastructure and environmental impact.

Redrow say in its application: “The site has previously been identified as a potential area where future housing growth could occur without significant detrimental impact.

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“It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the application site is suitable for housing.”

The site is not earmarked for housing in the draft ‘Local Plan’ for Ottery St Mary, and both the town and district councils have indicated future developments should be in the west of the town.

But POSM say developers appear to be ‘trying to exploit a period of some uncertainty’ ahead of the new local plan being formally adopted.

A point backed up by the fact Redrow Homes include in the conclusions to their planning application: “The Local plan is time expired and there is no prospect of a replacement plan being adopted for the foreseeable future.”

The plans will be debated by Ottery Town Council at a planning meeting on Monday, February 28, before East Devon District Council makes the final decision on the scheme later this year.