Factory redevelopment almost given green light

An artist's impression of what Ottery's factory site would look like if plans for 100 homes are approved.

An artist's impression of what Ottery's factory site would look like if plans for 100 homes are approved.

Archant

Plans to redevelop the factory site in Ottery were almost given the green light after six of the seven applications were approved this week.

But at Tuesday’s meeting district councillors agreed a site inspection to look at the proposed height of the retirement home element of the proposals, which in total will create 100 new dwellings in the town.

The developer Paul Conway told the development management committee he wanted to make the Grade II listed mill ‘an address to be proud of’ in Ottery.

His scheme for the iconic site includes creating 30 apartments at the renovated mill, demolishing the more recent factory buildings to create 33 new homes, building 29 retirement flats on what is now the Tumbling Weir car park, and creating eight houses on land next to Victoria Terrace across the road from the factory.

The plans were split into seven separate applications which went before East Devon District Council (EDDC) this week.

The committee agreed with the planners’ recommendations to approve almost all of the proposals, but wanted to add in an ‘overage’ agreement.

Because Mr Conway says the high costs of the scheme makes it only marginally viable, there is no Section 106 money on offer, cash set aside from a developer for community benefit.

But councillors said if the value of the properties increases before they are sold they want an agreement with the developer for some of the profits to go back into Ottery.

Mr Conway also has to agree to conditions to make sure the mill complex is structurally safe and water tight, and a contribution towards foul drainage infrastructure.

However, the multi-million pound project cannot start until the final part of the application is decided on, as the retirement flats are integral to the project.

The decision was postponed after concern the building would dominate and overlook nearby properties in Mill Street.

EDDC’s planning Inspections committee will make a site visit next Friday before ruling whether the redevelopment at the factory can start, almost 10 years since it closed its doors.


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