Decision deferred on service station and McDonalds near Ottery
- Credit: Archant
A proposed new service station and drive-through McDonalds near Ottery St Mary has failed to win the approval of East Devon’s planning committee.
Councillors instead deferred a decision until they had more information about how it would impact on its surroundings.
The plans would see the large development built on the A30 at Straightway Head Junction, next to the Daisymount roundabout.
The application, which also includes a petrol station, shop and large car park, was recommended for approval by planning officers, to be discussed by the development management committee this afternoon (Tuesday, December 3).
But the vote to approve it was lost by seven votes to six, and the committee eventually agreed to defer the application.
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Planning permission had already been granted for a much larger service station and hotel, and council officers said the principle of the scheme had already been agreed.
But concerns were raised about the design of the planned development, and councillors said they wanted to see CGI images that would give them an accurate idea of how it would affect its surroundings.
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Some councillors also had strong environmental concerns.
Cllr Jess Bailey, representing West Hill and Aylesbeare, said she was shocked, horrified, and astonished that with the backdrop of a climate change and ecological emergency, council officers are supporting the development of a petrol station and two-storey McDonalds drive-through on top of a very large hill.
She added: "The proposed larger scheme was a more sympathetic scheme and this will be for evermore be an eyesore."
She said the development would also take business away from shops and garages in nearby villages.
Cllr Ollie Davey said there were a good number of reasons to refuse what was a 'horrible idea'.
He said that a McDonald's did not meet the policy requirement as being an essential service, it was not appropriately spaced as it was just 10 minutes from Exeter, and that design of it meant it would be 'high-up, visible, and a blot on the landscape'.
But Cllr Tom Wright argued that any service area on the A30 which would reduce the traffic coming on and off the M5 at Junction 30 would be welcome as it is 'already chocker'.
Cllr David Key added: "I cannot see what the detrimental effect of having it there would be."
Councillors finally voted by 12 votes to one abstention to defer the application for further information on the design and landscape of the scheme, and for some CGI images to be produced.