Ottery parish affordable homes plea

RESIDENTS and civic leaders have called for more ‘affordable’ homes in the Ottery St Mary parish so young professionals can stay in the area.

RESIDENTS and civic leaders have called for more ‘affordable’ homes in the Ottery St Mary parish so young professionals can stay in the area.

As plans for 56 houses in Tipton St John face rejection, a dad-of-four fears his kids will be ‘priced out’ of the village.

Paul Williamson was the only person to register support for plans for land near Otter Close, which include 22 ‘affordable’ dwellings, as 70 other villagers objected.

“The proposed development is too big and traffic issues need to be addressed, but we do need something for the younger generation,” Mr Williamson told the Herald.

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“We can’t have younger people in the village because they can’t afford to live here. It has a knock-on effect on all our societies and groups.

“The average age of the cricket club is in the early 50s. We’re desperate for younger players.

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“We need younger people in the village to keep it going. The only way you can do that is more affordable housing.

“We just want the best for our kids- who want to stay in the village.”

Mr Williamson’s son, Matthew, 24, a fully qualified electrician, and fianc�e Chloe Richardson, want get on the property ladder. Matthew, also vice captain of Tipton’s cricket team, said: “We’d love to stay in the village. Prices are stopping us.”

Ottery town councillor Paul Lewis last week called for a change in attitude over affordable homes in the parish.

He hopes a housing needs survey will highlight a demand in the area.

Speaking on plans to build 36 homes in the centre of West Hill he said last Monday: “I don’t think that is the right development for that land but it is the only piece in the area which is suitable for development.

“There have been a number of these planning applications in the past few months. So far, I think we have been right with all the decisions. There is a need to provide more affordable housing within the parish.

“The idea affordable housing is going to turn an area into a ghetto is a myth, these people aren’t yobs they are young professionals who can’t find somewhere to live.”

“All these applications are being refused and it’s starting to be a problem, before you know, it it’s three or four years before you’ve built anything then five or six and you find you’re a long way behind.”

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