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OTTERY: Revised plans to develop Old Manse described as ‘bonkers’

Thursday, 03 April 2014

Ottery town councillors have described the latest application for redevelopment of the Old Manse as “bonkers” and “unacceptable”.
Developer Feniton Park Ltd has submitted revised plans to convert the Mill Street site, currently Everys Solicitors, into a restaurant or café, with three residential properties and eight townhouses.
A previous application submitted in June last year, also strongly criticised by town councillors at the time, was withdrawn before being put to the planning authority East Devon District Council.
And members of the town council’s planning committee remain outraged by the plans, which they agreed had not satisfied any of their previous objections.
Councillor Martin Thurgood said: “To my mind it is a gross overdevelopment of the site and out of character with the surrounding area. The density is far too high and has too much of an adverse impact on the conservation area.
“The East Devon standard is for two parking spaces per dwelling, which means we need 22 spaces there – that is quite clearly not going to work.”
Councillor Roger Giles said he was “amazed” the applicant had not made more substantial changes following the initial reaction to the plans.
He said: “I cannot believe applicants would submit an application in this form when there is still so much wrong with it.
“There is a single-track road there with no pavements, which is hazardous to pedestrians. I am also concerned by the fact that there is inadequate access for emergency vehicles.”
Councillor Jo Talbot also pointed out that, if a restaurant or café was to be built, even more parking spaces would need to be provided. She described the plans as “completely bonkers”.
Around 15 residents were also in attendance at the meeting last week to voice their concerns. Dave Hart, a resident of Franklea Close whose house is immediately behind the site, presented a whole range of objections to the plans, including inadequate parking provision and vehicle access, potential for impact on neighbouring properties, and factual inaccuracies in specifications for the height of the buildings.
He told councillors: “While the words change, the meaning does not. If you look at the drawings, it is not the case that the height has been reduced. It will still be three storeys high.
“There are sufficient grounds to kick it into touch straight away because it is not factually correct. All our previous objections still apply.”
Other residents warned that, assuming the new properties would attract families to the area, it would be dangerous for children playing outside.
The application will now be put before EDDC, which will make the final decision.


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