Don't miss a story sign up to Midweek Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Councillor accused of ‘torpedoing’ factory office plans

An artist

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


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.”


Other News Stories

Children from Upottery Pre-School gave Cllr Paul Diviani a thankyou card after the council paid for repair work to the roof. Ref mhh 4389-47-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Following months of problems as a result of its leaky roof, Upottery Pre-school’s committee secured a local grant of £2,000 from Devon County Council in September, through Cllr Paul Diviani.

Read more

Pupils at an Axminster primary school have the chance to perform at Exeter Cathedral, if they get enough votes.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00
Honiton St Pauls Church. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhh 5406-27-12AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to and click on myphotos24

The service, formerly known as the Tree of Light, will include a mixture of carols and readings.

Read more
Saturday, November 28, 2015
The Seaton Friends Hospiscare @ Home Team

The Seaton Friends Hospiscare @ Home Team service means patients no longer need to travel to the Exeter hospice to receive treatment, instead the hospice goes to them.

Read more
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Students sleep rough at Honiton Community College.

The move was part of ‘The Big Sleep Out 2015’, fronted by homelessness charity Trinity.

Read more
Friday, November 27, 2015
Graham Long in Upottery with his laptop. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhh 7459-42-13TI Graham Long To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on myphotos24

Graham Long, a parish councillor in Upottery, has warned that delays in securing a contract to install more fibre-optic cables could lead to businesses leaving rural areas - and problems for homeowners trying to sell their properties.

Read more
Friday, November 27, 2015
Neil Messent.

Oil industry worker Neil Messent also admitted production of cannabis and possession of class C drugs and was jailed for a total of two years.

Read more
Thursday, November 26, 2015

The incident happened at Raymond’s Hill earlier today (Thursday), at 3.07pm.

Read more
Thursday, November 26, 2015

The incident took place in Honiton Lidl car park on Wednesday, November 25.

Read more
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Natasha Koshti.

The Budleigh Salterton Committee for Cancer Research UK is holding an Evening In India on Saturday, November 28, at 7pm in the Public Hall.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 12°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

Find a job in Devon

Find planning applications