'Yes' to plans for 31 homes on allotments
PUBLISHED: 16:55 26 January 2015 | UPDATED: 16:55 26 January 2015
Ottery St Mary's allotments will be transformed into 31 new homes after district council planning bosses gave the scheme the go-ahead.
The development will form ‘phase two’ of the existing Redrow site at Butts Road in the north of the town - and includes provision for ‘affordable’ housing as well as new allotment plots in an adjacent field.
The outline plans were approved by East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) development committee on Tuesday, January 20 , with the only dissenting voice coming from Councillor Roger Giles, who warned the development would ‘set up future problems for Ottery’.
As part of the application, Redrow has agreed to buy a field east of the existing allotments, set up new plots and car parking, then gift the land to Ottery Town Council.
Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting, deputy mayor Ian Holmes told the committee it costs the town £850 per year to rent the current plots from Redrow, and that the existing contract could be terminated with just three months’ notice.
He said that the town council had worked with the allotment committee and Redrow to design the new allotment field, which includes paths, a water supply and lockable equipment boxes for each plot.
Cllr Holmes asked that the committee approve the application on the condition that Redrow honour its part of the agreement to gift the new plots to the town.
He added: “If this application is approved, then the freehold to the new allotments will be gifted to the town council, ensuring security for the future.”
However, Cllr Giles questioned how Ottery Town Council or EDDC could support the latest application when both had objected to plans from Redrow for 130 homes on land east of Butts Road in 2012.
The scheme was subsequently allowed on appeal, but a written statement from Mr Giles raised concerns that more homes would burden the town’s ‘struggling infrastructure’.
He said the emerging East Devon Local Plan earmarked a maximum of 300 new homes for Ottery until 2026, and that granting permission for the allotment site would mean 516 houses would now either be under construction or have planning approval.
He added: “To approve this today would set up problems for Ottery for many years ahead.”