NEWS

Exeter In Brief - December 2022

Keeping you in touch with local news that matters

University of exeter Co-living Student accommodation Property development Exeter airport Exeter college Exeter city council Planning policy Exeter city living Housing crisis

, updated

EXETER CITY COUNCIL is expected to impose a 7% rent and service charge increase on council housing tenants – the maximum allowed – at a meeting on 10 January.

EXETER CITY COUNCIL will have to make net savings of £3.835 million next financial year and reduce its reserves to a minimum despite an increase in central government funding according to 2023-24 budget proposals to be discussed at the same meeting.
Repairs and maintenance of council-owned property will be cut back significantly, resulting in further degradation and closure risks, but a £10.6 million loan to Exeter City Living will go ahead.

A progress report on the development of the 2023-24 EXETER CITY LIVING business plan confirms a governance and management review will be taking place following an auditor’s report which found that it had put the council at “significant financial risk” after losing £2.2 million in its first two years of trading.
The report also confirms that the business plan won’t be ready until a fortnight after the financial year to which it applies begins – five months late – and that a contractor still hasn’t been appointed for the company’s Vaughan Road development.

EXETER CITY COUNCIL has been allocated a £1.3 million share over two years of a £654 million government homelessness prevention grant.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is consulting on proposals to update the NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK via the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill.
Relaxation of central government-imposed housing targets and changes to the requirement to demonstrate a five year housing land supply are both included, with major implications for the new Exeter Local Plan.

KARIME HASSAN’s tenure as city council CEO is to be terminated following a decision taken in private by councillors, with Bindu Arjoon to be appointed as interim CEO in his place.

EXETER CITY COUNCIL is consulting on a partial review of the charges it levies on developers to pay for community grants, habitat impact mitigation and projects like Marsh Barton railway station.
Its decision to launch a public consultation during the holiday period follows an attempt by opposition councillors to prevent the proposals going ahead in their current form.
Anyone wishing to speak at the subsequent public examination hearing must notify the council in writing before the end of consultation period on 25 January.

EXETER COLLEGE has submitted revised Flowerpot Playing Fields redevelopment plans following widespread objections to proposals to erect a three metre fence around publicly-accessible playing fields and replace them with artificial turf.

A peer-reviewed academic study has found that plane flights taken by the wealthiest people in the UK use more energy than all aspects of the lives of the poorest put together. The findings follow news that EXETER AIRPORT flight volumes all-but returned to pre-pandemic levels this summer.

Proposals to convert empty ground floor retail units to additional student accommodation units in the CENTRAL LIVING STUDENT ACCOMMODATION BLOCK that replaced the Honiton Inn at the foot of Paris Street have been submitted to Exeter City Council for approval.
Permission was granted for the conversion of five ground floor commercial units to nineteen student rooms at The Depot in Cheeke Street last year.

An application to convert EXELAND HOUSE in Tudor Street to a 38-unit co-living block has been submitted for approval by Exeter City Council.

The OFFICE FOR NATIONAL STATISTICS has published new local authority-level travel to work data derived from the 2021 census.

The UNIVERSITY OF EXETER is promoting its sixth place ranking in the 2023-23 People and Planet university league table, citing its “efforts to lead meaningful action against the climate emergency and ecological crisis” after signing a £16 million five-year sponsorship deal with Shell which it did not publicly announce despite being in business with the company since 2005.



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

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

Liveable Exeter Placemaking Charter cover image

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

Empty studios at The Gorge

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

Spruce Close & Celia Crescent development aerial view

City council approves plans for controversial greenfield site housing

Longbrook Street student accommodation block illustrative elevation

Top to bottom King Billy student block redesign waved through as minor variation to consented plans

St Bridget Nurseries illustrative layout

Judge quashes planning permission for 350 homes at St Bridget Nurseries in Old Rydon Lane

Recent stories
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.

Spruce Close & Celia Crescent development aerial view

NEWS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

City council approves plans for controversial greenfield site housing

Key details remain unresolved including future ownership and management of green space and public access restrictions during construction period.

Longbrook Street student accommodation block illustrative elevation

ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Top to bottom King Billy student block redesign waved through as minor variation to consented plans

Council throws out Design Review Panel interventions and reneges on commitment to planning committee while developers claim unauthorised destruction of protected medieval wall justified on safety grounds.

St Bridget Nurseries illustrative layout

NEWS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Judge quashes planning permission for 350 homes at St Bridget Nurseries in Old Rydon Lane

High Court judgement finds city council did not properly discharge duties or take material considerations into account, council officer seriously misled planning committee and county council failed in statutory local highway authority role.

On Our Radar
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Illustrative elevation facing St Luke's campus

NEWS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Heavitree Road police station & magistrates court redevelopment appeal dismissed

Devon & Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner and offshore development partner sent back to drawing board after attempt to overturn city council decision to refuse two huge student/co-living blocks fails.

Exeter City Council allotment fees increases 2016 to 2024 line graph

ANALYSIS  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Council plans huge allotment fees increases to claw back cash from 1,500 city gardeners and growers

Plot holders provided with incomplete picture as consultation held which does not comply with council's own charter and delayed scrutiny report that omits key survey findings suggests council aims to turn profit from allotment provision.

, updated

Devon electric vehicle charging strategy cover

ANALYSIS  ⁄  TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Devon County Council adopts charging strategy that provides for only 20% of EVs it expects by 2030

Local ULEV ownership has risen rapidly in recent years but many more vehicles have joined county's roads as local transport area ULEV growth lags behind rest of country and Exeter motor vehicle numbers alone top 87,000.

Land Trust garden community development of 3,000 homes at Beaulieu, near Chelmsford

ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Liveable Exeter 'garden city' branding is about government funding, not green space

New Exeter Local Plan policy 'principles' have little in common with historic vision revitalised for 21st century by TCPA for government programme, while consented Haven Banks scheme and proposed new town near Exeter Airport have even less.

Scrutiny Programme Board agenda extract 21 July 2022

SPECIAL REPORTS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

City council scrutiny board enabling illicit obstruction of democracy

Essential safeguard against misuse of power misdirected by Executive members and senior officers while backbench councillors persistently denied rights to examine high-risk schemes and citywide climate crisis response.

3D view of revised development proposal

NEWS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Student landlord submits new plans for Union Road HMO back garden block following appeal failure

Application for six bedroom, single storey purpose built student accommodation block made on site of refused ten bedroom, two storey scheme in garden of thirteen bedroom shared student house.

Spotlight
St Bridget Nurseries illustrative layout

Judge quashes planning permission for 350 homes at St Bridget Nurseries in Old Rydon Lane

High Court judgement finds city council did not properly discharge duties or take material considerations into account, council officer seriously misled planning committee and county council failed in statutory local highway authority role.

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