Controversial Ottery homes plan revived

Shock new plans have been announced to resurrect a controversial scheme to build a dozen homes in the centre of Ottery.

The land behind the Old Convent was the subject of a bitter row in 2009, with proposals only successful on appeal.

Nearby residents who objected were spared from any building after the land was put straight back up for sale and has not found a buyer since.

But this week a brand new application was submitted to East Devon District Council (EDDC) offering to replace and ‘improve’ the previous planning permission.

The new plans are still for 12 homes, but will only include two flats instead of the previous scheme’s eight, and 10 three-bedroom houses.

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A statement from architects GJR, working on behalf of applicant Feniton Park Ltd, said it will create a ‘small scale, mews-style residential development’, with a ‘sensitive’ design in keeping with the locality.

The statement said the new plan has been developed following feedback from planning officers at the district council, and is for two storey or two and half storey houses.

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But they will be ‘smaller than those previously approved, and the block of flats will be replaced by a small terrace of three houses’.

There will be a commercial unit for retail or office use, access would still be through the gated entrance on Broad Street, and there are plans for 18 car parking spaces including garages.

And GJR seem confident the new application will have smoother passage than the original, adding: “Comments from the planning officer have indicated that in principle the scheme is largely acceptable.”

The original planning application, submitted by Sea Valley Properties, prompted scores of complaints from residents of Franklea Close and Tip Hill, who branded it a ‘monstrosity’.

EDDC ruled the proposed apartment block ‘unacceptable’, and rejected the scheme, a decision which was overturned by the planning inspectorate the following year.

The land is still currently up for sale with a local estate agent at a cost of �550,000, advertised as a ‘development site’ with planning consent.

The new plans will be discussed by Ottery Town Council’s planning committee inside the Old Convent on Monday from 7pm, before a final decision is made by EDDC.

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