Proposed new gym among planning applications to Ottery Town Council

Ottery planning committee discussed several applications this week. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery planning committee discussed several applications this week. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A new gym could open in Ottery St Mary after town councillors welcomed a change-of-use application for a building on the Finnimore Industrial Estate.

The planning committee also backed plans by the Kings Arms Hotel to convert five guest rooms into flats.

But an application to turn part of a vacant town centre retail unit into housing did not win their support.

The planning committee met via Zoom on Tuesday, August 4, to discuss their recommendations to East Devon District Council, which will make the final decisions on the applications.

The proposal for a gym at units 1-3 at the Finnimore Industrial Estate was recommended for approval, with Cllr Richard Grainger saying it was ‘to be welcomed’ because it would bring new economic activity to the town, and would not affect parking because the gym will mainly be used in the evening.

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Cllr Vicky Johns, the town’s mayor, added that the location was easy to walk to and also on a bus route, so access would be no problem.

The Kings Arms also won the committee’s backing, including listed building consent, for plans to convert hotel accommodation into flats, while retaining the existing bar, lounge and skittles area.

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Councillors agreed that the building is in urgent need of repair and modernisation, and they would not object to the development, provided it was in keeping with the character of the building.

An application to alter a driveway at Harcourt, Wiggaton, was welcomed, with the committee agreeing that the existing drive was dangerously steep with poor access and visibility.

Rosey’s Chippy’s request to install an additional doorway was approved, as this will provide a separate entrance and exit for customers, to maintain Covid-19 social distancing.

Its application for new first-floor windows was supported, subject to the windows being ‘aesthetically pleasing and in keeping with the conservation area’.

But plans to turn the back of the vacant retail space at the former Colbert Hall, in Mill Street, into three town houses did not win favour, with councillors feeling that existing shopping units should be retained.

They also recommended for refusal a proposal to install three ground-floor windows at The Old School in Sandhill Street, saying the changes would be detrimental to the building’s appearance.

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