End of the road for ‘highly unpopular’ 52-home development plan in Ottery St Mary


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Planning Inspectorate dismisses appeal

A ‘highly unpopular’ and ‘damaging’ 52-home development plan in Ottery has reached the end of the road as an appeal against its refusal was dismissed.

An application by Blue Cedar Homes to build at Slade Farm received 410 formal objections and was rejected by East Devon District Council last year in a move hailed a ‘victory for people power and common sense’.

The company lodged an appeal against the decision in January 2016, but its case was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate on Tuesday.

One campaigner has labelled the decision an important precedent against inappropriate planning decisions, not just in Ottery, but across the whole of East Devon.

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District and town councillor Roger Giles said: “I am absolutely delighted that the planning inspector has recognised the harm that this totally inappropriate and highly unpopular planning application would cause and has dismissed the appeal.

“Many people will be very pleased, and also relieved at the decision. I would like to offer my congratulations and thanks to the many local people who took the time to oppose this damaging planning application.

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“Let us hope that speculative developers will study the planning inspector’s decision - and leave Ottery alone - we have had more than enough planning approvals recently.”

Blue Cedar specialises in providing homes for over-55s and its plans included provision of ‘age-restricted’, open market and ‘affordable’ properties at Slade Farm.

St Mary’s Park resident Grenville Gilbert – a former planning law advisor – was an outspoken opponent of the proposed development.

He said: “As local residents, we are very pleased indeed with the outcome. It’s important as a precedent for anything else that goes on in East Devon as well. It’s an important decision not just for us, but for everybody.”

In his report, planning inspector Jonathan Manning cited several reasons for dismissal, including the harm it would cause to the character of the area, loss of the most versatile agricultural land and the fact it does not represent sustainable development.

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