Ottery and West Hill's Neighbourhood Plan gets green light to go to referendum

PUBLISHED: 14:01 03 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:01 03 May 2018

Ottery town. Ref sho 10-17TI 8339. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery town. Ref sho 10-17TI 8339. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Ottery and West Hill's Neighbourhood Plan will now head to referendum after three years of development.

East Devon District Council’s cabinet gave the plans the green light yesterday to endorse the planning inspector’s report and agreed that the plan should move to the next step.

Residents will be asked to vote to implement the plan, which will act as a blueprint for development across the parishes.

Jo Talbot, chair of the neighbourhood plan steering group, said: “It feels fantastic and euphoric. It has been hard work, we have had to tweak, include map references. It is such a huge parish, two parishes in fact, which are so diverse.”

The joint Neighbourhood Plan focused on the areas such as economy, housing, traffic calming measures and celebrating heritage.

In her report, Mark O’Rourke, planning inspector, said: “I recognise that the Plan is the product of a lot of hard work by the Working Group and the Ottery St Mary Town Council and the newly formed West Hill Parish Council, at a time of great change with the two Intelligent Plans and parishes having to work together in unusual circumstances where they had once been one body.

“Considerable effort has been put in over the last two years to achieve the submitted Plan and, in the process, there has been engagement with a large number of local people and stakeholders. The output is a Plan which should help guide the area’s future development in a positive way with the support of the local community. I commend the town and parish councils and the working group for producing this Plan which, subject to some modifications, will influence development management decisions over the next 13 years.”

At the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, members congratulated the neighbourhood plan group on their hard work.

Councillor Roger Giles, district councillor for Ottery, said after the meeting: “My heartiest congratulations to Jo Talbot and everybody who work so hard on this. I look forward to the plan being implemented and bringing benefits to the Ottery parish and the new West Hill parish.

“It also showed how Ottery Town Council and the West Hill Parish Council have worked together in a very productive way.”

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