Old Manse plans deferred for site visit

The Old Manse building in Ottery. Ref sho 44 17TI 3003. Picture: Terry Ife

The Old Manse building in Ottery. Ref sho 44 17TI 3003. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Proposed plans for a new 10 house development in Ottery town centre has been deferred to allow councillors to answer questions over access, parking and design.

East Devon District Council’s development management committee met last week to determine the application to build eight town houses and two one-bedroom properties behind the Old Manse but voted to hold a site visit before making a decision.

Planning officers had recommended the plans for approval subject to a legal agreement with the developer of a contribution of £82,990 towards affordable housing.

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

Paul Humphries on behalf of the applicant said the plans had addressed concerns from its previous application.

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He said: “Furthermore the benefits of the scheme include provision of housing close to amenities, restoration and adaptive reuse of a prominent building in the conservation area, creation of jobs during the construction process and outer community benefit through the pedestrian linkage.

“So when considered as a whole the economic, environmental and social impacts of the scheme outweigh any harm.”

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Councillor Roger Giles said: “I really do not consider it remotely acceptable to impose what your own officers say is an unacceptable design on such an important position in Ottery.

“Chairman, understandably the officers have concerns about aspects of this planning application. The Town Council, and I, and local residents have considerable concerns.

“The application is not in accordance with your Local Plan, and would be damaging to Ottery. I urge you to refuse it.”

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