Traffic concerns over nursery proposal spark Ottery planners' u-turn

TRAFFIC concerns over an East Hill nursery s proposal to increase its capacity this week forced town planners to change their opinion of the bid.

TRAFFIC concerns over an East Hill nursery's proposal to increase its capacity this week forced town planners to change their opinion of the bid.

Ottery town council planning committee members, who visited the site up Slade Road last week, said on Monday there are "disparities", between Ottertots Ltd's application to increase the number of children it cares for by ten from 30 to 40, and "reality".

Councillors had initially given the proposal their blessing, but will now contact East Devon District Council- which will make a final decision on the bid, to voice new-found concerns after objections from worried neighbours "flooded in" to them.

Residents fear the lane to the nursery, up Slade Road, is already an "accident waiting to happen" due to the volume of traffic it channels.

In Ottertots' planning application, it is claimed the nursery provides a mini bus link for children, however, councillors who visited the site said there was "no evidence" of the vehicle and they felt "misinformed" when making their initial judgement.

Mayor Glyn Dobson said: "We could see no reference to the mini bus noted in the plans.

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"We didn't have all the facts in front of us when we made our original recommendation."

Cllr John Harding noted that he 19 cars travel along the road in a 45-minute stint and said: "What we have seen does seem in some way different from what we saw in the original application- all the children went in by car."

The committee agreed to write to EDDC to voice concerns over the plan's design and access statement and volume of traffic on the road.

A member of Ottertots staff told the Herald that the council's "no evidence" claims over the mini bus were "not true".

She said the mini bus had been parked in a different location last week due to agricultural work taking place on a nearby farm. She insisted children were taken to, and picked up from local schools on the minibus that day.