Inquiry kicks out appeal leaving 15 home plan on hold

Just an hour before the 15 home plan for West Hill was due to be heard it was withdrawn from the agenda after the news of a controversial appeal came through.

The application to build at West Hayes was set for approval until just before the district council planning meeting on Tuesday.

When the news suddenly came through the planning inspector had rejected calls from Blue Cedar Homes to allow them to build 50 homes at the adjoining Eastfield site following a public inquiry.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) decided to defer the application until December’s planning meeting to assess the inspector’s report.

But Andrew McNaughton, the agent handling the application for Paul Hunt Investments, isn’t worried the failed appeal next door to West Hayes will make a difference to the outcome.

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He said: “It’s a box-ticking exercise; the council just want to make sure they have taken everything into account.

“We’re confident it still satisfies all the criteria.”

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The scheme by Paul Hunt Investments, which includes 10 affordable hoses, was recommended to be approved by planning officials, despite heavy criticism from residents in West Hill and Ottery Town Council.

But in what was seen a landmark case over the interpretation of new planning rules from central government, the 50 home Eastfield plan was rejected by the planning inspectorate.

A public inquiry was held last month into outline plans to build 20 age-restricted houses, and 30 for general use, which was initially rejected by East Devon District Council in February.

The government planning inspector Dave Prentis said the proposal, which is outside the building boundary for West Hill, conflicts with countryside protection policies.

He added: “The scheme would encroach onto an attractive tract of countryside to the detriment of the setting of West Hill.”

Claire Wright, district councillor for Ottery Rural said she was ‘delighted’ at the decision, and added: “This is clearly excellent news for West Hill.”

And there are more developments in other plans to build within the Ottery parish.

The public inquiry into plans by Devonshire Homes to build 56 houses in Tipton St John has had a date set.

The planning inspector will hear an appeal into the decision to reject proposals for land south of Otter Close at EDDC in Sidmouth at 10am on Tuesday, December 6.

There will also be a public meeting to discuss proposals for a development by the allotments on land on Higher Ridgway.

At Monday’s council planning meeting the Mayor Glyn Dobson announced Redrow Homes, who had previously expressed a desire to build more than 100 homes at the site, are inviting residents to look at their proposals at the Institute at 11.30am on Tuesday.

And there are currently proposals being assessed by planning officials to build 19 homes at Barton Orchard in Tipton St John.

The architect for this scheme is Paul Humphries, who last week we incorrectly referred to as being involved with the 15 homes plan at West Hayes.

We would like to make it clear Paul Humphries Architects have nothing to do with these plans, which are being developed by Paul Hunt Investments Ltd.

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