Sport facility hope for Ottery land

A MAKE-OVER for an overgrown stretch of land will provide Ottery residents with new sporting facilities.

A MAKE-OVER for an overgrown stretch of land will provide Ottery residents with new sporting facilities.

The one-and-a-half-acre strip off Strawberry Lane was handed back to Ottery town council by the town's Bowling Club last week after an agreement was reached to nullify a 99 year lease between both parties.

Councillors are already considering "exciting" proposals for the site, which is located between the town's cricket and bowling clubs.

Mayor Glyn Dobson thanked the bowling club for relinquishing the land and said: "We (town council) bought the land around 14 years ago for the town to use as a sporting facility."

"There has been a lot of interest already, we have been approached by the national croquet coach who wants his club there for training and there are several other ideas."

"There is a tremendous amount of work to be done there."

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A decision on exactly how the land will be utilised will be made at a future town council meeting.

Last year councillor Roger Giles helped secure a �45,000 Devon County Council cash boost to "unlock the land" and cover the costs of an access link to it.

Cllr Giles said: "This is an exciting project and I look forward to various Ottery community groups- which either have no or are in unsuitable accommodation, relocating to Strawberry Lane in the not too far distant future."

Cllr George Hansford, the town council's agricultural spokesman, said the "great benefits" for Ottery will only be reaped after a lot of "general husbandry" and hard work to stretch in an "acceptable" condition for activities to take place on it.

The town council will now seek planning permission for an access road to the site.

Chairman of the Bowling Club Mike Potter said: "We are delighted an arrangement has been made and are looking forward to developing our relationship with the council as the project moves forward.

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