Council urges developer over Ottery hotel renovation

New homes

New homes - Credit: Archant

Developers planning to renovate a former Ottery hotel have been urged by the town’s mayor to get started – otherwise the listed building will be ‘lost forever’.

Town councillors discussed an application for 25 flats at the Salston Manor at a meeting on Monday, many of whom warned that work needed to get going to protect the building’s fabric.

After it closed as a hotel in 2007 the new owner successfully applied to turn it into a 76-bed care home.

But the scheme never came to fruition and the planning permission has now lapsed.

The Salston has since changed hands, and the current plans stress that the developers want to bring the building back into community use, with conference and banqueting and leisure facilities alongside the new homes.

At Monday’s meeting, Ottery mayor Glyn Dobson said: “They need to do something quick, otherwise the building will be lost forever. How the conservation officer has allowed it to get like this I will never know.”

Deputy mayor Ian Holmes said he and other councillors had looked inside the building last year and found it in a ‘deplorable state’.

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“There was water coming through the ceiling, rotting floors – it was very sad to see a beautiful building like that,” he said.

“Something needs to be done – the care home didn’t work. This seems to be the best thing we could get, and I think we should fully support it.”

Councillor Roger Giles said he did not approve of the application, because he was worried Ottery would have too many new homes built – with permission already granted for 130 at Butts Road, 185 at Island Farm, and potentially another 100 at the old factory, he felt that he could not support more development.

But planning chairman Paul Carter said the application should not be ‘lumped in’ with others.

Following a proposal from the mayor, councillors voted to support the plan, but with reservations expressed over the proposed five-a-side football pitch at the site.

East Devon District Council will make the final decision on the application later this year.

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