Regeneration plan on hold following funding problems

100 new homes are due to be built at the site of the Otter Mill Switchgear factory

100 new homes are due to be built at the site of the Otter Mill Switchgear factory - Credit: Archant

THE proposed regeneration Ottery’s derelict factory site has stalled as the developer struggles to secure funding to get the project started.

Approved plans for 100 homes on the 5.3 acre Town Mills site include the demolition of the run-down factory building and an expensive conversion of the five-story Old Mill in to apartments.

But councillors at East Devon District Council (EDDC) have been told that the developer, Churchill Property Group South West, had ‘experienced an unwillingness of banks to lend development finance’ which has delayed the project.

Planning officials have suggested several possible solutions to help get the work started, including allowing Churchill Property to sell off parts of the site to other developers.

In a report to councillors last month, James Brown, principal planning officer at EDDC, said: “This would unlock the funding difficulties that are being experienced, allow the conversion to take place and also speed up the whole process.”

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But he added that although this approach would minimise the risks of the work either not starting or running in to funding difficulties mid-project, it would ‘not altogether negate them’.

The developer, Paul Conway, said he did not wish to comment on the progress of the application while there were still legal negotiations ongoing.

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