The UNIVERSITY OF EXETER has submitted plans for a six acre 1.07MWp solar farm and substation beside Belle Vue Road and alongside Duryard Valley Park which include fencing off part of the publicly-accessible greenspace.
SOUTH WEST WATER has been fined £2.15 million and ordered to pay £280,000 costs after pleading guilty to thirteen environmental offences committed between July 2016 and August 2020 across Devon and Cornwall, the largest fine imposed for such offences in the region. The company allowed toxic chemicals to escape into waterways on several occasions, causing significant environmental damage. A single spill at Kilmington led to the deaths of thousands of fish in the River Axe, including protected species. It also pumped raw sewage into rivers and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
A major review of EXETER CITY COUNCIL governance, which has already been postponed six times and was not expected to address the issues it raises until July, making it nine months late, has now disappeared from the council’s forward plan altogether.
Exeter COST OF LIVING data shows that wages fell in real terms by 6.6% over the year to March 2023, the biggest fall bar one of all 62 cities and large towns included in the Centre for Cities tracker. The think tank found that Exeter workers were on average £144 a month poorer in January 2023 than the previous year as local wage levels have more in common with the north of England than the south.
Work at MARSH BARTON RAILWAY STATION is now complete but an opening date will not be set until regulatory approval for its use is granted. The station was originally scheduled to open in December 2016.
When asked at April’s meeting of EXETER CITY COUNCIL why it does not follow Local Government Association guidance which explicitly advises against the council leader and planning portfolio holder sitting on the planning committee to avoid conflict of interest risks, council leader Phil Bialyk said: “I choose not to follow the guidance”. Both he and Emma Morse, Executive portfolio holder for city development and planning, continue to sit on the committee, which she also chairs.
Dozens of postal voting forms completed with the names and addresses of Exeter voters have been left on a garden wall by local EXETER LABOUR election canvassers. The data breach occurred as the national party put the sensitive personal data of millions of local authority voters at risk via a security flaw in its telephone canvassing database.
The window to register to vote for this year’s Exeter LOCAL ELECTIONS closes at midnight on Monday 17 April. Thirteen city councillors among 55 candidates will be chosen to serve four year terms at the local elections on Thursday 4 May. All those who wish to vote in person will, for the first time, be required to show photo ID. The deadline for postal vote applications is 5pm on 18 April.
DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL began works to reintroduce two-way motor vehicle traffic and reduce pedestrian capacity between Paul Street and Northernhay Street in Queen Street on 17 April.
Junior doctors at the ROYAL DEVON NHS TRUST are striking over pay from 11-15 April alongside British Medical Association colleagues across the country. Emergency, critical, neonatal and other care services will continue during the strike and patients should attend scheduled appointments unless they hear otherwise.
A woman was sexually assaulted in LUDWELL VALLEY PARK between 2-4pm on Sunday 9 April. Anyone who may have relevant information or CCTV footage is asked to contact Devon & Cornwall Police quoting reference 50230081217.
MARSH BARTON RAILWAY STATION is now not expected to open until the summer following more project completion delays.
Exeter Estates Holdings has published plans to demolish ST THOMAS LIBARY and replace it with a block of thirteen flats. The company, which is also developing a 60-acre predominantly greenfield site on the edge of Exeter, is controlled by Tony Rowe, CEO and chairman of Exeter Chiefs, who has a range of property development interests in and around the city. It claims the library plans to relocate but Devon County Council and service provider Libraries Unlimited both say they intend to stay in the building.
The EXETER WORKS employment advice hub that replaced the Princesshay tourist information office has closed in favour of online-only service provision. The county council Devon Youth Hub service, which was previously co-located with the service, has moved to Exeter Library.
EXETER CITY COUNCIL will not now be able to increase council tax charges on hundreds of empty and second or holiday homes in the city until April 2025 following delays with the government’s Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill, which provides for the introduction of the new charges.
EXETER CITY COUNCIL has granted planning permission for controversial developments of 350 dwellings at St Bridget horticulture nursery on Old Rydon Lane and 182 dwellings at Aldens Farm West, part of the predominantly greenfield 90 hectare South West Exeter extension of 2,500 new homes that stretches from Alphington to the M5. Both developments were widely opposed because of prospective traffic impacts.
A new application to redevelop PATERNOSTER HOUSE at the corner of Fore Street and North Street has been submitted a fortnight before previously-granted permission to convert the former department store into flats expired on 22 March. The building is currently owned by property developer Grenadier, part of the Oxygen House group of companies which is also responsible for Exeter City Futures.