Salston Manor plans not supported by Ottery council

Salston Manor. Ref sho 5084-37-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Salston Manor. Ref sho 5084-37-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

An application on the site of the former Salston Manor Hotel, for 16 new houses built, has not received backing from Ottery Town Council.

The authority’s planning committee raised objections to the lack of affordable housing included in the plan at a meeting on Monday (February 18).

In a confidential viability report, the developer Salston Manor Developments said affordable housing would not be possible because it was putting all of its money towards restoring the listed building.

During the meeting, resident Vicky Johns said that nobody in Ottery would be able to afford one of the new houses and that you had to ask ‘what the developers bringing to the town?’.

Councillor Roger Giles argued that it was the inclusion of ‘unnecessary’ sports facilities such as a swimming pool, gymnasium and tennis court which had made it not viable and it should not be supported for that reason.

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The developer initially purchased the property for £950,000 and previously had approval to create 27 apartments but work had since stopped due to the possible change of design.

Cllr Glyn Dobson said when buying a property you took a chance and if you got the sums wrong then that’s up to you.

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Cllr Anne Edwards expressed concerns that if this latest proposal was rejected, the developer would walk away and leave the manor in the state that it is.

The issues of disturbing protected species such as door mice, bats and slow worms were also raised.

Cllr Giles said it was being built in an unsuitable location with inadequate roads and no pavements or street lights.

The committee agreed that they did not have a problem with the conversion of the Grade II listed building but rather with the new homes and the majority decided not to support the plans.

In a design statement for the new application, architect Keith Wotton writes: “The care home was never realised as there were no forthcoming developers willing to make the necessary investment so it must be assumed that hotel and care home uses are not viable, therefore as these uses are clearly not attractive to investors then the only appropriate use for this listed building must be within the full residential sector and the applicant is willing to make the investment accordingly.”

The final decision now rests with East Devon District Council.

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