Ottery 53-home plan to be ‘vigorously opposed’


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Ottery’s community hit out at the ‘total abandonment of good planning’ principles in a sway of reaction against the latest ‘opportunistic’ development.

An outline planning application for the construction of up to 53 homes on a greenfield site next to Sidmouth Road has received an unprecedented 499 objections to date.

This surpasses the number against the controversial 52-home proposal at Slade Farm, which is still awaiting a decision.

Members of the public packed into an Ottery Town Council meeting on Monday to voice their arguments against the plans – which could push the total number of houses in the pipeline to more than 600.

Their views gained the full backing of councillors, who unanimously agreed to ‘vigorously oppose’ the application.

Town and district councillor Roger Giles said: “There are many reasons to refuse this unnecessary, damaging and unpopular application which is contrary to many East Devon District Council and national planning policies.”

He spoke of his concern at the potential increase in traffic on the ‘already problematic’ Tip Hill crossroads by the primary school.

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Among the reasons cited for objecting to the proposals were the lack of sustainability of the site, the ‘dangerous’ access on a busy road, visual impact, environmental implications and increased pressure on infrastructure.

The developer also came under fire for failing to hold a public consultation prior to submitting the outline application.

Speaking on behalf of Campaign to Protect Rural England, Margaret Hall said: “This is an opportunistic and badly put together application, but no less dangerous for that.”

She said the proposed site is on grade two agricultural land - which should not be used for development unless there are exceptional, overriding needs.

Grenville Gilbert – a former town and country planning law advisor – said: “I am concerned at what appears to be a total abandonment of good town and country planning principles.”

Several members of Gerway Action Group – set up in opposition to the latest development plans - put their objections to the meeting.

Agents of the application, Ian Jewson Planning Ltd, previously told the Herald the proposals will provide ‘much-needed market and affordable housing in a sustainable location’.

The company had not submitted any further comments when the paper went to press.