West Hill new homes plan slated


Planning - Credit: Archant

OTTERY Town Council voted unanimously not to support plans for up to 25 homes in West Hill on Tuesday.

Proposals from developer Blue Cedar, for land north of Eastfield, also drew criticism from residents concerned about access to the site, increased traffic and flooding.

The village has been allocated 35 new homes in East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) draft Local Plan – a blueprint for development in the region until 2026 - and the 4.3 acre site was one of the preferred locations earmarked for new homes after a public consultation.

But the field sits outside the village building line, and Dick Beardsall, from West Hill Residents Association, said the group objected for that reason.

He added: “If EDDC are minded to include the field within the building line then we would withdraw our objection.

“I have enormous sympathy for the residents of Eastfield, but this site is the least worst option.”

Mayor Glyn Dobson said the council had to be consistent and members had voted against applications outside the boundary before.

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He added: “Although this was nominated as one of the preferred sites I don’t see how we can support it.”

A previous application by Blue Cedar in 2011 was dismissed for reasons that included the development being too large to be sustainable and detrimental the countyside.

But Nick Yeo, area director for Blue Cedar, said that the latest application fully addressed all of the reasons given for its previous rejection.

He added: “There was an acknowledgement at the meeting that it would appear to be more a question of when, not if, the land at Eastfield will come forward for development.

“EDDC must deliver suitable sites for housing and, if a town council votes against an application on a site that it has previously identified as its preferred option, where does this leave us?”

A final decision on the application will be made by EDDC in the coming months.

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