Around a dozen residents expressed a range of concerns from traffic and infrastructure to a loss of Ottery’s distinctive character.
There was anger at EDDC’s justification for the houses, which largely relates to Ottery’s proximity to the west end of East Devon (this cannot be a reason for providing more houses, even if Ottery could be described as close to Cranbrook, which it is not). Another justification for higher growth is a ‘high quality public transport link’ which was supposed to be a sort of tram service, promoted by Devon County Council. However, the funding has now been lost for this and DCC has written at least two letters to East Devon District Council informing them of this and asking them to withdraw the reference from the Local Plan, which has not happened.
A show of hands asked for eventually by planning chairman, Paul Carter, revealed that the vast majority of people present – around 90 per cent – did not support more than 100 houses in Ottery until 2026.
Mayor, Glyn Dobson proposed that the town council stick to its original position, which was that a maximum of 300 houses was the right number for Ottery. This position was voted through unanimously by councillors.