A new life for Ottery’s disused factory at last?

Ottery's disused factory site 2

Ottery's disused factory site 2 - Credit: Archant

A long-awaited major regeneration of Ottery’s derelict factory site could start within two months if a bid to speed up progress is successful.

Approved plans to transform the town’s former mill into apartments have been plagued with delays, but now the building’s owner said he is ready to push the development forward.

Paul Conway, director of Churchill Property Group South West, has applied for permission to begin the demolition of the post-war single-storey factory extension.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) will need to give the go ahead.

Mr Conway said: “EDDC planning officers are supportive of the application to bring forward the demolition, if granted it will permit us to start work on the site in about seven to eight weeks.

“Once the demolition starts, conversion of the listed building can start.

“This summer we will start to see things happening.”

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Mr Conway outlined his vision to build a total of 100 new homes on the disused site, which has recently been the target of vandals.

“In the Grade II Listed, five-storey building, we are going to create some very nice one- and two-bedroom apartments,” said Mr Conway.

“These will be very tastefully done. The external façade will remain the same, but internally it will undergo a full renovation.

“In addition, a number of new homes will be built, with some detached apartments.

“Finally, 29 retirement apartments will be built by the Tumbling Weir Hotel.”

Unlike many similar projects, the development will not include any affordable housing as the company’s contribution to the community is to regenerate the Grade II Listed building.

Mr Conway said: “It will bring the building back to life and back to community use.

“I think it will be uplifting for the town.”

He also confirmed previous concerns over coping with waste disposal have been resolved and the capacity at South West Water’s current sewage treatment works at Fluxton will be increased.

Ottery historian, Peter Harris, of Sandhill Street, worked at the former factory for 45 years and still keeps an eye on the premises now.

He said: “I would just love to see something done with the site.

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