Rejection for 38 home village development

A development in West Hill labelled ‘totally unacceptable’ has been unanimously rejected by East Devon District Council.

Councillors agreed to refuse plans to build 38 dwellings at land adjacent to Greytops in the village calling it out of character with the surroundings and criticising its lack of affordable housing.

Several West Hill residents and Town Councillor Claire Wright spoke out against the proposals, saying the multi-storey luxury retirement apartments with underground car parking would be ‘incongruous’ and an ‘eyesore’ in the woodland village.

A planning consultant for the applicant Nigel Hardy also spoke, arguing the planning report which recommended refusal for the Cooper Court plans was one-sided, and defended plans to include a private sewage treatment facility.

But members of EDDC’s Development Management Committee at Tuesday’s meeting at Exmouth Town Hall agreed with the six reasons offered in the report to refuse the application, which stated the proposal is outside the West Hill boundary for development, and the design is contrary to the Village Design Statement.

Council leader and ward member for Ottery St Mary Rural Sarah Randall-Johnson said the density of the development simply didn’t work in West Hill, and the land had been placed outside of the Built Up Area Boundary for good reasons which should not be changed for this application.

The plans, which are billed as a ‘village centre and retirement community’, including 16 retirement apartments and 22 dwellings with plans for a caf� and satellite doctor’s surgery, were criticised by Ottery St Mary Town Council, along with the West Hill Resident’s Association.

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They accused Mr Hardy of trying to mislead the council by only submitting positive replies to a proforma about the development, but he has always argued Cooper Court would have a positive impact on the village.