Councillor accused of ‘torpedoing’ factory office plans

An artist's impression of what Ottery's former factory may look like once developed.

An artist's impression of what Ottery's former factory may look like once developed.

Archant

An Ottery councillor has been accused of ‘torpedoing’ plans to create employment for at the old factory by revealing sensitive commercial negotiations.

David Cox says the meddling of his fellow ward member for the town Roger Giles has resulted in a scheme to create offices in the former mill being scrapped.

But Cllr Giles has hit back, saying East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) plan to discuss an agreement behind closed doors was ‘wholly wrong’.

When the agenda for Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting was published, it contained a report on the former Ottermill Switchgear site in Part B, which is closed to the press and public.

Cllr Giles had asked for any discussions to be in the public domain, or be deferred until a planning application, which is expected imminently, had actually been submitted.

But Cllr Cox, who is chair of the council’s Asset Management committee, said his intervention has ‘scuppered the whole thing’.

Because of potential flood risk, planners will not allow domestic residences on the ground floor of the Town Mill.

Develop Paul Conway recently revealed plans to create 100 houses at the site, with the potential for office space, which Cllr Cox said the council was looking at purchasing on a long lease, and then sub-letting to local businesses.

But he said the opportunity was now lost, adding: “Until the thing was signed, sealed and delivered it had to be done in private, and by (Cllr Giles) sending emails about it I have had to pull it.

“It could provide employment in the town potentially, and help regenerate a bit of the town which is in dire need of it.

“It’s a great shame it’s been torpedoed on this way.”

Cllr Giles disagreed, saying EDDC would have acted ‘wholly undemocratically’ by taking the report and considering its recommendations before a planning application had been submitted.

“A planning application is coming in for probably the most important site in Ottery, and the council was going to agree what goes on there, even before it happens, and before any members of the public of the town council had the chance make a decision.

“I think that’s wholly wrong.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

13:04

Healthy eating group needs help to expand its important work with young people

Read more
11:48

Heritage Lottery award of £9,500 to capture the history of much loved open spaces

Read more
09:56

Alice in Wonderland-themed event staged in aid of cancer charity FORCE

Read more
10:51

Devon County Council’s public health team is warning people to be ‘tick aware’ as they get out and about in the countryside, due to the risk of health problems including Lyme disease.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

No Finer Life – a timeless story of the countryside will be coming to Honiton on Saturday, April 1.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:30

FirstGroup and MTR take over the franchise from current operators Stagecoach

Read more
Yesterday, 10:43

Crews from Seaton and Colyton called to deal with the incident

Read more
Yesterday, 10:30

Advice leaflets on how to deal with the nuisance birds are being delivered to all DT7 properties

Read more
Sunday, March 26, 2017

Melissa Morgan Holloway, of the 1st Honiton Brownies, was presented with the Brownie of the Year Joe Gilson Memorial Shield

Read more
Sunday, March 26, 2017

The year six children from Plymtree C of E Primary School were thrilled to be presented with their leavers’ hoodies by head of school, Mrs Alex Cutler.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications