Ottery land rush! Scores of sites put forward

LANDOWNERS in the Ottery parish have put forward hundreds of acres of land- enough to develop thousands of homes- in the hope of cashing in on the sites.

LANDOWNERS in the Ottery parish have put forward hundreds of acres of land - enough to develop thousands of homes - in the hope of cashing in on the sites.

More than 60 plots that equate to 370 acres of land in Ottery, West Hill, Tipton and Alfington were submitted to planning chiefs carrying out a Government initiative over land availability.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) this week insisted too many sites had been put forward and the number far outstripped housing need and its plans.

Concerned campaigners this week clashed with the council over its Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA).

Communities Before Developers claimed that, in the unlikely event every site was developed, 4,500 to 7,500 homes could be built in the parish.

Member and Ottery Councillor Roger Giles fears sites deemed ‘deliverable’ or ‘developable’ by EDDC will quickly become the focus of planning applications.

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He said: “Although we are unlikely to see this extent of development, what has been proposed for our parish is large-scale and could mean more than 1,000 new homes.”

In Ottery, 25 pieces of land were put forward, with 16 in West Hill, eight in Tipton St John and 15 in Alfington and its surrounding areas.

Mr Giles added a piece of land at Barrack Farm could hold 344 dwellings. Other substantial spots are at Gerway Farm and in Cadhy Lane.

An EDDC spokesperson said the council was tasked by the government in 2008 to establish a database of sites that could be developed, in theory, if it wished to do so. He “emphatically” pointed out EDDC will not be promoting all the submitted sites for development, and the exercise will “help inform choices”, adding sites have been judged suitable or otherwise on technical considerations.

He said EDDC’s future strategy has earmarked 250 homes for Ottery, 50 for West Hill and 25 for Tipton in the next 15 years. This excludes developments that already have planning permission or have been committed to since 2006.