Developer gives Ottery ‘v-sign’ says Cllr

Flags erected by Redrow Homes on its the land behind Butts Road after a succesful appeal to put 130

Flags erected by Redrow Homes on its the land behind Butts Road after a succesful appeal to put 130 homes on the site. - Credit: Archant

A developer has been accused of giving Ottery St Mary a ‘v-sign’ with a six-metre-high advertisement for a controversial planning site.

Redrow Homes won an appeal to put 130 houses on land behind Butts Road, but angered nearby residents by putting up what they called ‘victory flags’.

The firm also erected signs on the land, but after being reported to the council, it was asked to put in a retrospective planning application for the v-shaped board advertising the forthcoming housing development.

At last Monday’s town council meeting, several councillors spoke out against the sign, including West Hill representative Jo Talbot.

She called the application ‘rude’, and said it was appropriate the advertisement was listed as a ‘v-sign’ in planning regulations, as this was ‘what the developer was saying to Ottery’ by putting it up.

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However, deputy mayor Ian Holmes said it was ‘their land, their sign’, and Councillor George Hansford said anyone who was against it was ‘silly’.

This led to colleague Martin Thurgood to ask: “Can I be silly, then?

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“Signs need to be meaningful, and this has no value to it.”

But Paul Lewis failed to agree, saying he saw no problem with the sign, adding it was commonplace for house builders to advertise when they had received planning permission.

Redrow’s proposal for 130 homes was not supported by the town council, and was rejected by the district council.

However, the planning inspector overturned the decision on appeal.

The new application to retain the v-sign until February 1, 2014, was eventually supported by Ottery Town Council by six votes to three, but the final decision will be made by the district council next month.

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