Ottery St Mary news review October to December

Some of the stories in Ottery St Mary from October to December.

October

An application to install toilets for the first time in the parish church’s 700-year history was withdrawn after stinging criticism from heritage groups.

Plans had been submitted to build a �250,000 single-storey extension to the rear of the Grade I listed building, but they were accused of damaging ‘the most significant heritage asset in East Devon’.

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Patients at Ottery Hospital were to have a new mural to look at after pupils from The King’s School painted the walls as part of their project week.

The students from years seven and eight spent two days completing the artwork, which depicts a peaceful countryside scene with local landmarks and features.

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Olympian and former King’s School pupil Jo Pavey was on hand to present the awards at the Ottery academy’s 10th Sports Presentation evening.

Pupils and their families were invited to celebrate the previous year’s successes, with 50 awards handed out, including the prestigious Jumbo Holmes award, which went to Mitch Abbott as the ‘outstanding senior sportsperson at the school’.

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An 11-year-old King’s School pupil beat off professional stables with her home-reared pony to win at The Horse of the Year competition.

Alice Please and her horse Treowen [corr] Ranger were champions in the Show Hunter Pony of the Year class at the prestigious equestrian competition.

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Plans to demolish part of the old factory site and build housing, retirement accommodation and offices were unveiled.

A developer’s exhibition was held at a shop in Mill Street to show the proposals, that included preserving the old mill.

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The King’s School was successful in another planning application as it embarked on a project to renovate and extend facilities.

A proposed two-storey extension to the sixth-form block was approved by the district council.

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A crossing described as ‘an accident waiting to happen’ was deemed safe by the county council.

Councillor Roger Giles had expressed concern about the pedestian crossing in Hind Street, but was told it ‘seems to be working as well as any on a one-way street in a town centre location’.

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Allotment holders in Ottery used all sorts of weird and wonderful techniques to fend off pests in competition for a coveted prize.

String was soaked in creosote and boundaries were marked to protect fruit and vegetables before plots were judged and prizes awarded.

November

An award-winning comedian visited Ottery for a special show to be broadcast on Radio 4 based on what he learned about the town.

Mark Steel was to perform at The King’s School with the socialist columnist and author trying to get an understanding of the town’s ancient traditions as part of his research for his series, Mark Steel’s in Town.

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Fears were expressed over the future of Ottery Hospital after it was revealed only half the beds were in use and food was being transported from Cornwall.

Northern Devon NHS Healthcare Trust, who manage the hospital, confirmed the move to reduce 12 beds to provide more intensive nursing care.

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Ottery Town Council agreed to project manage the resurfacing work at the Colin Tooze Sports Centre after nobody would accept ownership of the car park.

Funding was available through the Investing in Devon scheme, but none of the stakeholders involved said they were responsible for it.

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A group of budding masterchefs cooked up a storm as they took over an award-winning Sidford restaurant for the night and raised �5,000 for charity.

Andy and Annette Witheridge handed the keys to their prestigious venue, The Salty Monk, to 26 catering students from The King’s School so they could cook a seven-course meal from scratch for 55 paying guests.

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An innovative service which helps older people with dementia in Ottery was in line for a prestigious national award.

The Rowan and Linden centres at the town’s hospital were shortlisted for the Innovations and Best Practice in Community Hospitals Awards 2012.

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Talented Ottery teen Phoebe Lea went through to the area finals of a nationwide search for the best unsigned musical talent.

The 14-year-old wowed the judges at the regional finals of Open Mic UK and was one round away from performing at the O2 arena in London.

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A teenager from Ottery was among Devon’s most outstanding volunteers and cadets awarded the coveted HM Lord Lieutenant’s Commandation for Meritorious Service.

Cadet Flight Sergeant Jacob Rosen, 17, was handed the accolade at a ceremony in Exeter.

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Ottery Town Council agreed to support a planning application to build 160 houses and a care home on land in Barrack Road.

However, it had reservations about traffic issues.

December

Ottery’s fire commander slammed the ‘selfish’ individual who stole all of the town’s sandbags ahead of a weekend of flooding.

Gary Shaw said a man with a trailer turned up at the station and removed the sand when it wasn’t even raining.

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Engineers who devised an environmentally sensitive pipe-laying scheme to avoid disturbing water voles near Ottery have won an award.

The team from May Gurney, working for South West Water, used a special drill to enable them to put the pipe under the River Tale just 25 metres away from the animals’ home.

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Part of the Land of Canaan car park in Ottery could be developed despite figures showing it is being used more than ever.

District bosses agreed ‘options for a partial development’ would be considered at a cabinet meeting following a report into council car parks across East Devon.

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A dog from Ottery was barking up the right tree for national recognition after reaching the finals of a competition at Crufts 2013.

Annette Siddle, breeder of Flo, a two-year-old pointer, said: “We are so proud of Flo and everything that she has achieved.”

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A revised application to build 10 houses at a controversial site in West Hill was submitted to the district council.

Paul Hunt Investments had previously failed in an appeal to the planning inspector when it upheld the decision to reject plans for 15 houses at West Hayes.

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The owner of one of Ottery’s landmark businesses blamed the impact of Sainsbury’s on the decision to close its doors for good on Christmas Eve.

Kevin Wood, 42, had run Millstone Bakery, in Mill Street, with his brother-in-law for 13 years, but said since the arrival of a supermarket in the town independent shops had suffered.

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It was reported that building work will start in ‘late spring’ on a controversial 130-home scheme in Ottery, after it was approved on appeal.

East Devon District Council failed to prove it had enough housing sites across the area to block Redrow Homes’ plan for housing on land behind Butts Road.

Campaigners against the plans branded the decision as ‘disgusting’.

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New plans to put houses on Ottery’s ‘last green oasis’ were approved by the district council.

The new scheme was for 12 homes, but will only include two flats instead of the previous scheme’s eight, and 10 three-bedroom houses.

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