'Ignored' Ottery supermarket report cost �3.5k

AN ignored independent report, commissioned with public money to investigate Tesco and Sainsbury s Ottery plans, cost tax-payers �3,642. The dossier has been branded a waste of money amid claims East Devon District Council (EDDC) decision-makers did

AN "ignored" independent report, commissioned with public money to investigate Tesco and Sainsbury's Ottery plans, cost tax-payers �3,642.

The dossier has been branded a "waste of money" amid claims East Devon District Council (EDDC) decision-makers didn't heed expert advice when they granted Sainsbury's permission to build a 20,000sq ft Hind Street store.

Councillor Roger Giles revealed the cost and asked: "What was the point of commissioning the survey in the first place?"

The costly report, compiled by experts GVAGrimley, cast doubt over the suitability of both supermarkets plans.

It advised Sainsbury's Hind Street location was the "preferable" site for an Ottery supermarket, but warned the scale of the proposed store should be reduced.

EDDC officers followed suit, recommending a scaled-down Sainsbury's for approval.

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Just two votes separated development management committee members' decision to give a larger store the nod instead of a smaller outlet.

"I regret EDDC commissioned the survey and spent that money," said Cllr Giles. "It gave a detailed report that established the damage of such a large store to Ottery.

"The majority of members ignored the report and went for a decision against expert officers' advice.