New application for homes at The Old Manse in Ottery St Mary

Model house with design drawings

Model house with design drawings - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A developer has submitted plans to create 10 homes in Ottery town centre, after its last bid was refused on appeal.

Feniton Park Ltd proposes building eight townhouses behind The Old Manse.

Plans submitted for the site in 2014, for eight townhouses and three other residential units, were rejected by the district council and by the Planning Inspectorate on appeal. A government inspector said at the time the plot was a ‘highly sustainable location for a high density housing development’.

As in the previous plans, the 19th century Mill Street property and its annex would be converted into a maisonette and two one-bedroom flats. The three-storey terraced townhouses would be built in the rear garden and parking area of the offices. Under the application, the basement of The Old Manse would also reopen.

The ground floor of the property is currently used for financial and professional services, but the proposals seek to add retail, eating or drinking as potential business uses.

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Refusing the previous application, district council planning bosses complained of the high density of the development, the ‘unacceptable’ loss of privacy for neighbours and the damage to trees on the site.

The new application says: “The current proposal has clearly responded positively to previous concerns by the inspector and officers.

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“It is an innovative scheme, but a scheme which respects the traditional form and proportions in the conservation area.”

It says the ‘great problem’ is vehicular access. Improving the narrow access may have been considered adequate for one or two properties – the applicant argues – but that would have missed the opportunity of supplying more ‘modest’ town centre properties.

There are currently six parking spaces at the site. This will reduce to three, including one disabled bay.

The application says the provision of a new public footpath will benefit Winters Lane residents who currently do not have an easy access to the town centre.

The plans will be discussed by town councillors on Monday.

East Devon District Council will decide on the application,

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