Concerns over housing in Salston Manor plan

Salston Manor in Ottery. Ref shs 07 19TI 0238. Picture: Terry Ife

Salston Manor in Ottery. Ref shs 07 19TI 0238. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Proposals to redevelop Salston Manor and build 15 new homes in its grounds are being resisted by Ottery Town Council.

But councillors hope the applicants can come up with an alternative plan for the new housing, that would still allow the manor to be repaired and renovated.

The applicants want to get rid of the modern extensions to the former hotel which, according to their heritage statement, are not in keeping with the 18th/19th-century listed building.

They plan to construct new extensions, creating two new homes and enlarging two previously improved apartments.

The income from building the 15 homes in the grounds would finance the sensitive work needed on the manor house, a former home of the nephew of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Ottery Town Council’s planning committee agreed unanimously on Monday, September 21 that the existing plan was not suitable and resolved to submit a written objection to East Devon District Council, which will make the final decision.

They will point out that the site is outside the area designated for development, and this is contrary to the Ottery St Mary and West Hill Neighbourhood Plan and the East Devon Local Plan.

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There is also a requirement of 50 per cent affordable homes in new builds outside the development area.

Additional concerns were raised about a potential threat to wildlife, including otters moving between the river and a nearby stream, and other species such as dormice, slow-worms and bats.

Councillors are also very wary of any new housing developments because Ottery has seen so many in recent years.

But the chairman of the planning committee, Cllr Richard Copus said they understand the need for some development in the grounds of Salston Manor so that the listed building can be repaired.

He said: “We really want to see that building renovated, and everybody on the council appreciates that it does require some money from other sources like a few new buildings to actually get it going.

“But it’s a matter of how many houses you put there and what they look like.

“We hope they can come up with a revised plan, if East Devon District Council turns this one down.”