Allotments will be spared say Ottery developer

Developers have vowed to help safeguard Ottery’s allotments despite planning to build more than 100 homes on land north of Higher Ridgeway.

Redrow Homes, who own the almost 5 hectare site, sought to soothe worried allotment-owners after surveyors were seen sizing up the land.

In a statement read-out at Ottery Town Council last week the house-builder said it would be prepared to transfer the allotment part of the land over to the council for just �1.

However this would be part of a planning application to build between 90 and 115 homes on the land.

Ottery’s green-fingered residents packed the council chamber last Monday to ask for the council’s support in retaining the allotments, which it currently has a on three-year lease.

Mayor Glyn Dobson said the council entirely supports the retention of the allotments, before reading an email received from Redrow’s Land Director. It referred to a representation made by Ian Jewson Planning to the district council’s Local Development Framework panel (LDF) where it outlines its plans for the site.

It strongly recommended increasing the housing requirement for Ottery St Mary, and said it could demonstrate the land, which runs from Higher Ridgeway to the back of Ottery St Mary football ground, is the most appropriate site for the future expansion of the town.

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It acknowledges the Fluxton sewage plant serving Ottery is at capacity and major works are required before large scale development can take place, but added: “However, the early release of a green field site for housing could fund the required works via developer contributions.

“This would enable a higher level of development to be directed to Ottery St Mary.”

But Redrow wanted to make it clear a deal to maintain the allotments could be made, saying: “As part of a future planning application package of community benefit Redrow would be prepared to permanently transfer the freehold of the allotment land to the Town Council for �1.”

The developer was one of the three to submit representations to the LDF last month to include potential future development in its draft ‘Local Plan’. The other two were land for 33 houses at Gerway Lane, and Greatwell farm on Chineway Road which could accommodate 180 homes.

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