NEWS

Exeter In Brief - June 2023

Keeping you in touch with local news that matters.

South west water Libraries unlimited Exeter city living Property development Devon county council Cycling & walking Transport policy Exeter city futures Net zero exeter Public parks University of exeter Student accommodation Marsh barton Ramm General elections South west exeter extension

, updated

Exeter City Council has confirmed, in response to a freedom of information request, that it has never taken enforcement action against breaches of the ARTICLE 4 DIRECTION that is intended to prevent conversion of residential housing to HMOs in the St James area. It has also confirmed that it approved nine of fifteen applications for HMO conversion that have been made in the Article 4 direction area since it was introduced in January 2012.

MATFORD BROOK ACADEMY, a new “state of the art” Ted Wragg Trust school for 1,450 pupils of all ages intended to serve the South West Exeter extension, is now not expected to open in September because of problems with the building foundations.

A new EXMOUTH AND EAST EXETER parliamentary constituency will replace most of the current East Devon seat held by MP Simon Jupp. The changes will reduce the Exeter constituency’s size, moving its current eastern boundary westwards so all of the city’s Pinhoe, St Loye’s and Topsham council wards will fall in the new seat. Nearly 9,000 Exeter voters are affected. Simon Jupp will contest the new Honiton and Sidmouth seat that will also be created as part of the changes, which the government is expected to approve in the next four months.

A £6.4 million government grant for heat decarbonisation at RAMM and the RIVERSIDE LEISURE CENTRE is to be spent on a Riverside roof upgrade and the replacement of gas-fired boilers with air source heat pump systems at both buildings.

The £16 million MARSH BARTON railway station is to open on 4 July, six and half years later than planned.

A £190,000 HEAVITREE AND WHIPTON ACTIVE STREETS scheme trial will begin in August for up to eighteen months, the first six of which will be a statutory consultation period during which residents and organisations will be invited to comment on the scheme. Four modal filters and three bus gates will initially be employed with the aim of reducing vehicular neighbourhood through traffic and increasing active travel in the area, in which around 17,000 people live. Changes based on consultation responses may be made to the scheme layout during the trial, in which case a further six month statutory consultation begins.

City council planning committee chair Paul Knott used his casting vote to approve final plans for the 50,000m2 UNIVERSITY OF EXETER West Park redevelopment of its Clydesdale, Nash and Birks Grange Village student accommodation sites on the north west corner of Streatham campus. It will involve demolishing 30 buildings to provide more than 2,000 new student bedrooms, a net increase of nearly 1,500 on the current site provision, and will be ten times the size of the St Sidwell’s Point leisure centre. Furious local residents who say they have been stone-walled by the university during the three-year planning process were dismayed at the decision.

The same planning committee meeting also granted Exeter Golf and Country Club permission to use 17 acres of privately-owned land that is part of LUDWELL VALLEY PARK as a golf driving range to replace their existing range on the other side of Rydon Lane, which will be developed for housing. A building and car park will be constructed on the greenfield site, which will remain inaccessible to the public, and conditions will restrict its use.

Planning permission to rebuild the ROYAL CLARENCE HOTEL as residential flats with ground floor commercial units has still not been granted more than eight months after the city council approved the plans. An extended 26 May deadline to sign a s106 legal agreement requiring developer contributions to health, education and affordable housing elsewhere in the city was not met. An extended deadline for its completion has now been set at 14 July, six years and nine months after the hotel burnt down.

EXETER CITY FUTURES is to be dissolved at the end of June following the final event in its £250,000 National Lottery-funded community engagement programme. The eight-year-old company, on which the city council has spent nearly £500,000, is responsible for the redundant Net Zero Exeter 2030 plan.

A special meeting of Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee (HaTOC) is being held at County Hall on Tuesday 20 June to discuss the HEAVITREE AND WHIPTON ACTIVE STREETS trial scheme following two public consultations and extensive community engagement. The scheme proposes modal filters and bus gates aimed at reducing vehicular neighbourhood through traffic and increasing active travel in the area, in which around 17,000 people live. An online petition encouraging councillors to approve the proposals is being hosted on the county council website.

Proposals to vary a planning permission granted ten years ago to redevelop buildings on the corner of FORE STREET and WEST STREET that currently house Langans and Crankhouse Coffee to create a six storey block of thirteen flats with commercial units on the ground floor have been submitted to the city council for approval.

The city council has granted planning permission for PINHOE COMMUNITY HUB, a new building at Station Road playing fields, for the second time following the lapse of the previous permission that was granted in February 2020.

EXETER CITY LIVING is holding a public consultation on its Glasshouse Lane redevelopment plans, which have been revised following public feedback. The council-owned company is now proposing 24 housing units in a single four storey block on the south side of the site.

Exeter Estates Holdings, a property development company that is controlled by Tony Rowe, CEO and chairman of Exeter Chiefs, has withdrawn its application to demolish ST THOMAS LIBARY and replace it with a block of thirteen flats following a public outcry in reaction to the plans.

SOUTH WEST WATER owner Pennon Group has increased its shareholder dividend by nearly 11% to £112 million despite making a pre-tax loss of £8.5 million and being fined £2.15 million after pleading guilty to thirteen environmental offences committed across Devon and Cornwall. CEO Susan Davy said the company, which also owns Bristol Water, had “delivered improvements in environmental performance”.



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  

More stories