The building, which is known as St Saviour’s, is much larger than one might expect, with accommodation stretching back to the Recycling In Ottery area.

The town council has been given an opportunity by Devon County Council to put forward a business case to acquire the building for the community. The bid that was agreed this evening proposes a free transfer, on the basis of a viable business case, that has the community’s welfare at its heart. 

The invitation follows my request to Devon County Council’s finance portfolio holder, Cllr John Clatworthy, in June, to defer the sale of the building. At the time I was granted one month. 

The town council has received expressions of interest from local businesses, which would like to rent space here and ideas from the community.

It is proposed that the library relocates here, as its current premises is deemed unfit for purpose due to lack of disabled access.

This evening Ottery’s mayor, Glyn Dobson thanked the working group (which I am a member of) and in particular, singled out Cllr Martin Thurgood and town clerk, Judith Reynolds, for all their hard work on the project.

James Goddard, member of the St Saviour’s working group and chair of Friends of Ottery Library, also attended and congratulated the town council on an excellent bid.

The final submission is absolutely brilliant, in my view. It is professional, well researched, credible and well argued. That it was produced in a very short few weeks is even more impressive!

We understand that the response from Cllr Clatworthy, may arrive as early as next week. We are all keeping our fingers crossed!

Photograph: St Saviour’s working group: Back row: Cllr Ian Holmes – Ottery Town councillor, Mark Lane – Devon County Council Ottery locality lead,
next row: Ellie Pang – Ottery Town councillor, Judith Reynolds – Ottery town clerk, Lee Godfrey – Recycling In Ottery, Cllr Jo Talbot – Ottery Town councillor,
next row: Mayor – Cllr Glyn Dobson, me, Rachel Pettit – Recycling in Ottery. Front row: Cllr Martin Thurgood – Ottery Town councillor, James Goddard – chair of Friends of Ottery Library, Cllr Geoff Pratt – Ottery Town councillor.

Not pictured are: Angela O’Reilly – Ottery resident, Hannah Reynolds – East Devon Volunteer Support Agency and Cllr Jess Bailey – Ottery Town councillor.