Former nurseries homes scheme set for approval

Gerway Nurseries. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref sho 2624-21-14AW

Gerway Nurseries. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref sho 2624-21-14AW - Credit: Archant

A new development of up to 45 homes on the southern edge of Ottery looks set to be given the go-ahead after planning officers recommended the scheme for approval.

The outline proposal for the former Gerway Nurseries site next to Sidmouth Road would see most of the existing greenhouses and sheds demolished and new houses built in their place.

The plans, submitted by Waddeton Park Ltd, include 35 per cent ‘affordable’ housing as well as a new footpath to link the five-acre development with the current pavement at Tip Hill.

Ottery has been allocated 300 new homes in the emerging East Devon Local Plan – a blueprint for development in the area until 2026 – but East Devon District Council (EDDC) has already granted planning permission for 440 dwellings.

However, in their report, officers note that because the council does not have enough land ready for development across the district, the scheme could not be refused on the grounds that the town has exceeded the number of homes allocated in the plan.

The report concludes that although the visual impact of the new housing and the loss of high quality agricultural land are drawbacks, more affordable housing and the economic benefit the scheme would bring outweighed the negatives.

In a letter delivered to residents living near the site, Councillor Roger Giles described the development as ‘completely nonsensical’ given the existing pressure on The King’s School, the sewage works and the town’s medical centre.

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He said he would be arguing strongly that the proposal not be allowed to go ahead when it comes before EDDC’s planning committee today (September 23).

Ottery Town Council was unanimous in its objection to the development when it considered the plans in June.

Members cited a lack of local support, adverse visual impact and the increase in traffic on Sidmouth Road as some of the reasons for their decision.