THE EXETER DIGEST

Exeter Digest #16: Co-living costs - Summerland Street tower - Car free day ignored

Our essential newsletter also includes a selection of community and culture events and signposts our briefing on the new Exeter Local Plan.

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NEWS

FIRST EXETER “CO-LIVING” BLOCK COMES ON STREAM WITH ROOMS AT £946PCM+

Even “affordable” rooms in six storey 133-unit Gladstone Road block would leave many local key workers living below minimum income threshold.

COUNCIL PAVES WAY FOR 186-BED “CO-LIVING” BLOCK IN SUMMERLAND STREET

Freedom of information request reveals intended scale of development after executive committee takes decision behind closed doors.

COMMENT

WORLD CAR FREE DAY IGNORED IN EXETER AS EXTINCTION REBELLION CHALLENGES COUNCIL CLIMATE INACTION

Protestors gathered outside council offices as CEO Karime Hassan posed for photo with construction company development manager at Princesshay promotion.

ON THE AGENDA

NEW EXETER LOCAL PLAN

An eight-week consultation on the outline draft version of the new Exeter local plan, which will guide development in the city until 2040, begins on Monday 26 September.

ON OUR RADAR

SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER // KIDICAL MASS

Kidical Mass Exeter is holding its third family bike ride and picnic as part of an ongoing campaign for safe cycling routes for children, young people and families.

WEDNESDAY 28 SEPTEMBER // MOTHER TONGUE

Mothers Who Make and Spork! present a lunchtime spoken word event for mother artists and audiences with caring roles.

FRIDAY 30 SEPTEMBER AND SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER // POP-UP CURIOSITY SHOP

Agile Rabbit is hosting a two day science and culture-themed event featuring music, live art, interactive exhibits and games, talks and workshops.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

COMMENT

EXETER DEVELOPMENT FUND: RENT EXTRACTION, UNAFFORDABLE HOUSING AND GENTRIFICATION, BUT NOT NET ZERO

Exeter City Futures’ private debt-driven Liveable Exeter property development financing scheme is under fire from councillors who say it is based on insufficiently-evidenced assumptions and won’t meet Exeter’s housing needs.

EXETER CYCLING & WALKING STRATEGY FIVE YEARS LATE AND COUNTING

County council soft-pedalling on infrastructure plan which city council says will not form part of new Exeter Local Plan despite Department for Transport guidance.

PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT PROMOTION AS COMMUNITY PLANNING PARTICIPATION

If the Liveable Exeter property development scheme and its Exeter Development Fund financing and delivery vehicle are already intended to “anchor and underpin” the new Exeter Local Plan, what will public consultation on the plan decide?

NEWS & ANALYSIS

ST. JAMES HMO CONVERSION REFUSAL OVERTURNED AT APPEAL

Council failed to provide sufficient evidence to support 2012 planning policy introduced to limit impact of student occupation of residential housing stock.

BUS BACK BETTER? EXETER SERVICES EXPECTED TO REMAIN UNFIT FOR PURPOSE WITHOUT NEEDED CHANGES

Government underfunding and bus sector challenges limit scope for improvement but county council failure to upgrade routes and policy ambitions plus high housing costs make Exeter difficulties acute, undermining net zero aspirations.

PROGRESSIVE GROUP PLANNING ENFORCEMENT PROPOSAL ADOPTED DESPITE PUBLIC LABOUR REJECTION

Newly-published register also reveals council has issued as many planning enforcement notices in the past three months as it has in the past three years.

UNIVERSITY EMISSIONS STUDY CONFIRMS NET ZERO EXETER PLAN REDUNDANCY

Council retains Exeter City Futures’ services despite history of delivery failures and lack of capacity to support defined decarbonisation targets.

EXETER GREENHOUSE GAS REPORT DISREGARDS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF TONNES OF ANNUAL CITY EMISSIONS

Restricted scope of study misrepresents scale of city’s impact to produce partial decarbonisation targets while ignoring opportunities to reduce emissions imported by residents, businesses and visitors, guaranteeing net zero failure.

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Recent headlines
Recent headlines
Auditor value for money arrangements recommendations summary chart

Auditor broadens inquiry to include Exeter City Futures and ex-CEO secondment to liquidated company

Devon County Council SEND spending 2019-20 to 2024-25 bar chart

SEND deficit deal demands £50m budget cuts, £13m asset sales and use of £20m financial reserves

Devon & Torbay Combined County Authority governance structure diagram

Devon devolution deal to create unaccountable local government layer for paltry £16 million payoff

Exeter St Thomas station

Access for all? Mobility-impaired passengers still cannot catch their train from some Exeter stations

Wonford Community Wellbeing Hub option seven plan crop

£1+ million for Wonford community hub project development but £7 million build finance not yet found

Recent stories
Auditor value for money arrangements recommendations summary chart

ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Auditor broadens inquiry to include Exeter City Futures and ex-CEO secondment to liquidated company

More 'significant weaknesses' found in city council governance and financial and performance management arrangements while St Sidwell's Point valued at £7 million less than build cost and £370,000 ex-CEO final year pay and benefits confirmed.

Devon County Council SEND spending 2019-20 to 2024-25 bar chart

NEWS  ⁄  COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

SEND deficit deal demands £50m budget cuts, £13m asset sales and use of £20m financial reserves

Department for Education to contribute £95 million over nine years, but terms of deal require Devon County Council to break even on SEND within two years despite five years of multi-million pound overspends.

Devon & Torbay Combined County Authority governance structure diagram

COMMENT  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Devon devolution deal to create unaccountable local government layer for paltry £16 million payoff

Democratic deficit to increase as city and district councils lose control over housing and prosperity funding and transport policy powers moved out of reach, while county council plans to approve deal irrespective of public consultation outcome.

Exeter St Thomas station

COMMENT  ⁄  TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Access for all? Mobility-impaired passengers still cannot catch their train from some Exeter stations

National railway accessibility policies fail to deliver local transport network access as Exeter St Thomas station improvement funding bid decision awaited.

Wonford Community Wellbeing Hub option seven plan crop

ANALYSIS  ⁄  COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

£1+ million for Wonford community hub project development but £7 million build finance not yet found

City council presented £750,000 'feasibility proposal' as progression of existing plans despite having to start again after three years to cut costs, with Exeter City Living awarded £550,000 project contract.

On Our Radar
More stories
Proposed Heavitree Road bus lane bus priority signals

NEWS  ⁄  TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Bus corridor consultation presents more incremental changes to Exeter road network

£2.4 million Heavitree and Pinhoe Road 'upgrades' have 'potential for an approximate four-minute journey time saving' at peak times along length of each corridor.

Southgate development site heritage map

NEWS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Secretary of State overturns council decision to waive Southgate site Environmental Impact Assessment

Proposals for up to 200 flats in high-rise tower blocks have potentially significant impacts on Exe Estuary avian flightpaths, Exeter Cathedral skyline, listed buildings and ancient city walls placing protected landscapes and heritage assets at risk.

Devon County Council 2023-24 vs 2024-25 service delivery budgets bar graph

ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

£50 million county council 2024-25 service delivery cuts concealed by £93 million costs increases

Figures essentially unaffected by budget scrutiny process during which councillors sought details of where and how cuts would fall but received few proper answers.

Stagecoach subsidiary operating companies 2022-23 pre-tax profits bar chart

ANALYSIS  ⁄  TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Stagecoach South West posts largest losses in sector despite greatest growth in journey numbers

Lowest year on year revenue rise compounded by above average staffing costs increase as £2 bus fare cap continues to prop up passenger demand.

Liveable Exeter Placemaking Charter cover image

ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Liveable Exeter Placemaking Charter consultation skewed towards only one of five 'core tools'

Private developers' forum and other major components of new charter not mentioned in council communications, but transparency and new 'culture of openness' to 'help build trust in the planning system' emphasised throughout.

Empty studios at The Gorge

COMMENT  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

The Gorge stands 70% empty nearly six months after opening as mounting council tax liability looms

Council development director claims developer interest demonstrates need for co-living in Exeter but works have yet to start on all other such schemes.

Spotlight
Devon & Torbay Combined County Authority governance structure diagram

Devon devolution deal to create unaccountable local government layer for paltry £16 million payoff

Democratic deficit to increase as city and district councils lose control over housing and prosperity funding and transport policy powers moved out of reach, while county council plans to approve deal irrespective of public consultation outcome.

All topics

ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY   ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY   AIR QUALITY AIR QUALITY AIR QUALITY   COP26 COP26 COP26   COVID-19 COVID-19 COVID-19   CITYPOINT CITYPOINT CITYPOINT   CLIFTON HILL SPORTS CENTRE CLIFTON HILL SPORTS CENTRE CLIFTON HILL SPORTS CENTRE   CLIMATE CRISIS CLIMATE CRISIS CLIMATE CRISIS   CO-LIVING CO-LIVING CO-LIVING   COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY   CONGESTION CONGESTION CONGESTION   COUNCIL TAX COUNCIL TAX COUNCIL TAX   CROWN ESTATE CROWN ESTATE CROWN ESTATE   CYCLING & WALKING CYCLING & WALKING CYCLING & WALKING   DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT   DEVON & CORNWALL POLICE DEVON & CORNWALL POLICE DEVON & CORNWALL POLICE   DEVON CARBON PLAN DEVON CARBON PLAN DEVON CARBON PLAN   DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL   DEVON PENSION FUND DEVON PENSION FUND DEVON PENSION FUND   EAST DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL EAST DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL EAST DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL   EXETER AIRPORT EXETER AIRPORT EXETER AIRPORT   EXETER CANAL & QUAY TRUST EXETER CANAL & QUAY TRUST EXETER CANAL & QUAY TRUST   EXETER CATHEDRAL EXETER CATHEDRAL EXETER CATHEDRAL   EXETER CHIEFS EXETER CHIEFS EXETER CHIEFS   EXETER CITY COUNCIL EXETER CITY COUNCIL EXETER CITY COUNCIL   EXETER CITY FUTURES EXETER CITY FUTURES EXETER CITY FUTURES   EXETER CITY LIVING EXETER CITY LIVING EXETER CITY LIVING   EXETER CLIMATE ACTION HUB EXETER CLIMATE ACTION HUB EXETER CLIMATE ACTION HUB   EXETER COLLEGE EXETER COLLEGE EXETER COLLEGE   EXETER CULTURE EXETER CULTURE EXETER CULTURE   EXETER DEVELOPMENT FUND EXETER DEVELOPMENT FUND EXETER DEVELOPMENT FUND   EXETER LIVE BETTER EXETER LIVE BETTER EXETER LIVE BETTER   EXETER LOCAL PLAN EXETER LOCAL PLAN EXETER LOCAL PLAN   EXETER PHOENIX EXETER PHOENIX EXETER PHOENIX   EXETER PRIDE EXETER PRIDE EXETER PRIDE   EXETER SCIENCE PARK EXETER SCIENCE PARK EXETER SCIENCE PARK   EXETER ST DAVID'S EXETER ST DAVID'S EXETER ST DAVID'S   EXETER CITY CENTRE EXETER CITY CENTRE EXETER CITY CENTRE   EXTINCTION REBELLION EXETER EXTINCTION REBELLION EXETER EXTINCTION REBELLION EXETER   FREEDOM OF INFORMATION FREEDOM OF INFORMATION FREEDOM OF INFORMATION   FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE EXETER FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE EXETER FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE EXETER   GENERAL ELECTIONS GENERAL ELECTIONS GENERAL ELECTIONS   GUILDHALL GUILDHALL GUILDHALL   HARLEQUINS HARLEQUINS HARLEQUINS   HEART OF THE SOUTH WEST LEP HEART OF THE SOUTH WEST LEP HEART OF THE SOUTH WEST LEP   HOUSING CRISIS HOUSING CRISIS HOUSING CRISIS   LGBTQIA+ LGBTQIA+ LGBTQIA+   LIBRARIES UNLIMITED LIBRARIES UNLIMITED LIBRARIES UNLIMITED   LIVEABLE EXETER PLACE BOARD LIVEABLE EXETER PLACE BOARD LIVEABLE EXETER PLACE BOARD   LIVEABLE EXETER LIVEABLE EXETER LIVEABLE EXETER   LOCAL INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY LOCAL INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY LOCAL INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY   LOCAL ELECTIONS LOCAL ELECTIONS LOCAL ELECTIONS   MAKETANK MAKETANK MAKETANK   MARSH BARTON MARSH BARTON MARSH BARTON   MET OFFICE MET OFFICE MET OFFICE   MID DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL MID DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL MID DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL   NET ZERO EXETER NET ZERO EXETER NET ZERO EXETER   NORTHERNHAY GARDENS NORTHERNHAY GARDENS NORTHERNHAY GARDENS   OXYGEN HOUSE OXYGEN HOUSE OXYGEN HOUSE   PARIS STREET PARIS STREET PARIS STREET   PARKING PARKING PARKING   PENINSULA TRANSPORT PENINSULA TRANSPORT PENINSULA TRANSPORT   PLANNING POLICY PLANNING POLICY PLANNING POLICY   PRINCESSHAY PRINCESSHAY PRINCESSHAY   PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT   PUBLIC CONSULTATION PUBLIC CONSULTATION PUBLIC CONSULTATION   PUBLIC HEALTH PUBLIC HEALTH PUBLIC HEALTH   PUBLIC PARKS PUBLIC PARKS PUBLIC PARKS   PUBLIC REALM PUBLIC REALM PUBLIC REALM   PUBLIC TRANSPORT PUBLIC TRANSPORT PUBLIC TRANSPORT   RAMM RAMM RAMM   REFUSE & RECYCLING REFUSE & RECYCLING REFUSE & RECYCLING   RETROFIT RETROFIT RETROFIT   ROYAL DEVON NHS TRUST ROYAL DEVON NHS TRUST ROYAL DEVON NHS TRUST   SIDWELL STREET SIDWELL STREET SIDWELL STREET   SOUTH WEST EXETER EXTENSION SOUTH WEST EXETER EXTENSION SOUTH WEST EXETER EXTENSION   SOUTH WEST WATER SOUTH WEST WATER SOUTH WEST WATER   SOUTHERNHAY SOUTHERNHAY SOUTHERNHAY   SPORT ENGLAND LOCAL DELIVERY PILOT SPORT ENGLAND LOCAL DELIVERY PILOT SPORT ENGLAND LOCAL DELIVERY PILOT   ST JAMES NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN ST JAMES NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN ST JAMES NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN   ST SIDWELL'S COMMUNITY CENTRE ST SIDWELL'S COMMUNITY CENTRE ST SIDWELL'S COMMUNITY CENTRE   ST SIDWELL'S POINT ST SIDWELL'S POINT ST SIDWELL'S POINT   STAGECOACH SOUTH WEST STAGECOACH SOUTH WEST STAGECOACH SOUTH WEST   STUDENT ACCOMMODATION STUDENT ACCOMMODATION STUDENT ACCOMMODATION   TEIGNBRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL TEIGNBRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL TEIGNBRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL   TRANSPORT POLICY TRANSPORT POLICY TRANSPORT POLICY   UNIVERSITY OF EXETER UNIVERSITY OF EXETER UNIVERSITY OF EXETER   WATER LANE WATER LANE WATER LANE  

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