Councillor accused of ‘torpedoing’ factory office plans

An artist

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

Honiton Mayor Caroline Kolec and Town Crier Dave Retter at the opening of the Honiton Techshop with Steve Smith and Luke Dolby. Ref mhh 1806-32-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton Tech Shop was opened by mayor Caroline Kolek at a sparkling launch in Lace Walk.

Read more
08:36
Seaton mayor, Tony Woodman and resident Irving Roberts unveiled the historic beach searchlight building. Ref mha 5822-31-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Town pays tribute to the important role played by those who defended the nation’s coastline

Read more
Yesterday, 18:31
Debbie Scadding throwing at Exmouth Ceramic Group's workshop.

It’s official – clay is cool! With BBC Two’s Great Pottery Throwdown due to hit our screens this autumn, the ceramic arts are poised to enjoy a new surge in popularity.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00
Churchill Retirement Living hold an official opening for their Holyshute Lodge development in Honiton, Devon, with Dame Esther Rantzen. She is pictured with Regional Managing Director Martin Young and residents.

The complex, on Langford Road, was opened officially by the popular TV personality on Tuesday, July 21.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:59
Seaton Town Crier David Craner. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhs 9935-11-12TI

Resort gears up for the annual town criers’ contest

Read more
Yesterday, 12:56

The 61-year-old died after he landed on the airfield on Friday (July 31).

Read more
Yesterday, 06:59
Pupils with their new CD

Charmouth Primary School records its own music CD

Read more
Mon, 17:00

The surgery will be contacting all of its patients over the next six weeks who are current year 13 students, and who will be 18 by Monday, August 31, to have the Men ACWY vaccine.

Read more
Mon, 15:30
Water Babes at Axminster's Flamingo Pool Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Swimming tots dress as pirates to raise money for Tommy’s, the baby charity

Read more
Mon, 11:30

Officers arrived at the scene at Acland Park on Friday (July 31) at 6.23pm.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

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

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition


Honiton's trusted business finder