Ottery St Mary dementia specialist care home plans agreed


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Development gets the green light despite ‘unacceptable’ design and missed eco-opportunities

Plans to build a 66-bed dementia specialist care home in Ottery have been given the go-ahead despite claims a number of eco-opportunities have been missed.

While the town council agreed with the concept of the proposed development to the south of Exeter Road, concerns were raised about the ‘unacceptable’ design of the modern building that was judged to be ‘not in keeping with the surrounding landscape’.

Its opposition was overridden by East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) development management committee – which agreed at a meeting last week to give the project the green light.

Speaking at the meeting, town and district councillor Roger Giles said: “My main concern is with the design. This is the main approach to Ottery and we need an attractive building there that blends in, not something we hope can be accepted in the future. It’s been said it is high energy efficiency so why does it not have solar panels?

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“Ottery has always been at the forefront of sustainability and I’m disappointed that this great opportunity has not been seized.”

He voiced concern about the ‘unsatisfactory’ and ‘unacceptable’ parking arrangements, which would see two separate facilities – a 22-space site for staff and nine remaining spots for visitors.

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The reserved matters application submitted by HCD Ottery Ltd is for a flat-roofed, L-shaped three-storey building, with two stepped wings.

Described as a ‘modern and significant new addition’, EDDC officers said its stepped form helps prevent it dominating the landscape.

Addressing committee members, Cllr Peter Faithfull said: “It looks more like something that belongs in the Science Park or Skypark.”

He added further concern about the problems with sewage in the area following a spillage in January and expressed a wish for no more development to be approved in the locality until the issue has been addressed.

But Cllr Paul Carter disagreed with the opposition from his fellow representatives and said: “Ottery is coming alive and moving forward. I think to have a big solar panel may not be as nice as we think.

“Sometimes we are looking at one side of the fence and, overall, the view is there is more going for this than against so I would be in favour.”

With reference to the concerns over sewage, he added that South West Water are set to carry out major upgrading work.

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