West Hill homes plan under fire

A new application to build 10 homes on a controversial site in West Hill has come under fire from residents and the town council.

Revised plans by Paul Hunt Investments have been submitted after the developer failed in an appeal for 15 houses at West Hayes last year.

The original scheme was met with hostility by the village’s residents, who objected to the development of the site, and it was not supported by Ottery Town Council.

And despite the amount of homes set out for the land near Eastfield being reduced, it has again been criticised.

Town councillors unanimously failed to support the application, saying there was inadequate drainage, water run-off would be exacerbated and there would be an adverse effect on the character and appearance of the village.

They also had concerns over access and whether the development would be sustainable.

Eileen Perkins from West Hill Residents’ Association said West Hayes is not one of

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the recommended sites in the recent Local Plan consultation, and those which are will ‘more than satisfy the assessed need for affordable homes in the village’.

Other residents said the reasons detailed in the inspector’s report when the previous appeal was turned down still stand, saying this application should be rejected as well.

Robert Amos wrote to East Devon District Council (EDDC) on behalf of several properties adjacent to the proposed site, arguing: “This is a section of the village landscape which is not suited to housing development.

“It is outside of the village boundary for development purposes and is an area of natural beauty which should not be spoiled.”

But the applicant said there is a need for the development, and has included plans for six affordable properties in order to use a special type of planning policy which allows for building in the open countryside if a high percentage of the houses are low-cost.

A final decision on the application will be made by EDDC later this year.

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