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

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.

Proposed Heavitree Road bus lane bus priority signals

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

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.

Spruce Close & Celia Crescent development aerial view

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.

St Bridget Nurseries illustrative layout

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.

Illustrative elevation facing St Luke's campus

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.

3D view of revised development proposal

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.

Royal Devon and Exeter hospital at Wonford

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Junior doctors stage industrial action either side of Christmas in longest strike in NHS history

Latest round of strikes are eighth walkout by junior doctors in eighteen month national dispute over pay and employment conditions with government.

Peninsula Transport Strategy front cover

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Regional transport infrastructure strategy published for public consultation

Framework seeks to draw together major evidence base assembled over several years to address key challenges to 2050 including integration of walking and cycling with local bus and rail network and freight decarbonisation.

Old bus and coach station demolition plan

PLANNING & PLACE

Old Exeter bus and coach station to be demolished five and a half years after closure

Bristol-based Wring Group appointed as contractor by city council to demolish building to slab level but not to remove foundations, leaving rest of CityPoint site untouched.

Clarendon House student accommodation proposals illustrative view - front

PLANNING & PLACE

Developers seek feedback on replacement of Clarendon House with student accommodation

350-bed block up to sixteen storeys tall proposed on site of underutilised offices on corner of Western Way and Heavitree Road.

St Petrocks homelessness charity Christmas appeal 2023

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

St Petrock's Christmas appeal to raise funds to support its work with rough sleepers

Exeter homelessness charity's fundraising campaign features short film exploring how it feels to be homeless.

Exeter area bus services trends map

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Exeter bus services cut by nearly 42% since 2010, largest fall in area

Many of worst-affected neighbourhoods in areas where major developments planned or being built, some in Heavitree & Whipton Active Streets trial area.

University of Exeter St Luke's campus boundary aerial view

PLANNING & PLACE

University seeks views on St Luke's campus redevelopment

Eleven acre teaching and research site between Heavitree Road and Magdalen Road to become 'health and wellbeing' campus and may include student accommodation.

Clifton Hill sports centre development site

PLANNING & PLACE

Clifton Hill sports centre site - with adjacent green space - and Mary Arches car park set for sale for PBSA

Reversal of policy to prohibit Purpose Built Student Accommodation on city council land proposed to cover expected £9 million outstanding Exeter City Living debt, with £800,000 budget proposed for site disposal costs.

Sandy Park stadium

ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

City council gives Exeter Chiefs permission to hold Sandy Park concerts with 15,500 attendees

Permanent consent for six weekend events between 1 May and 15 July each year with amplified music to 10.30pm follows four trial concerts with audiences of just 3,500.

Illustrative elevations facing Cowley Bridge Road

PLANNING & PLACE

City council approves Cowley Bridge Road student blocks on former Johnsons site

350 bedspaces in four blocks up to six storeys tall to be built on windfall site left vacant after 2020 fire at former laundry and workwear factory.

JCDecaux illuminated street advertising screen

PLANNING & PLACE

Planning inspectors uphold decisions to refuse illuminated city centre advertising screens

Appeal dismissals conclude JCDecaux 'multifunction hubs' would materially harm character, appearance and visual amenity and have 'very limited' benefits in Sidwell Street, Paris Street and South Street with High Street hub decision to follow.

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Seabrook Orchards phase three illustration

PLANNING & PLACE

Seabrook Orchards development plans submitted one house short of key planning condition threshold

Residents group says Bloor Homes application does not address pedestrian and cycle connectivity and is 'seeking to actively avoid delivery' of agreed transport infrastructure.

Maketank window display

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Maketank community arts centre closes after more than four years at the heart of Exeter cultural life

Crown Estate unwilling to renew lease after problems with roof preclude repairs in block scheduled for demolition as part of CityPoint redevelopment.

Heavitree & Whipton active streets trial scheme map

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Heavitree & Whipton Active Streets trial consultation to restart as taxi bus gate use introduced

More than 4,000 responses submitted in first eleven weeks with 1,650 people attending public exhibitions on scheme intended to reduce motor vehicle through traffic and increase walking and cycling.

3D view of proposed development

PLANNING & PLACE

Planning inspector upholds Union Road HMO back garden student block refusal

Appeal against city council decision dismissed as similar application by same student landlord in Pennsylvania Road HMO garden under consideration.

New Exeter Local Plan Water Lane site allocation map

PLANNING & PLACE

Water Lane SPD consultation opens in parallel with local plan survey

Policy intends to provide development framework and design code for 90 acre site on which 1,600 new dwellings plus employment space expected by 2040.

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Policy on extensions and building lines on corner plot sites - illustrative diagram

PLANNING & PLACE

City council seeks comments on draft Householder's Guide to extensions and alterations

Policy covers size and position, materials, boundary relationships, loft conversions, dormers, solar panels and roof terraces, among other residential development design considerations.

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South West area employment rates 2012 to 2023 line graph

ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

Exeter employment rate second lowest in South West for second year running

Economic inactivity levels related to large student and retiree population remain high, creating recruitment challenges from healthcare to refuse collection, but council celebrates top retirement destination ranking as 'more good news'.

Proposed south elevation

PLANNING & PLACE

Plans for flats in back gardens of Longbrook Street student HMOs submitted for approval

Application for six-bed three-storey block on what is now car park used by commuters does not address neighbourhood plan community balance concerns.

Larkbeare House

PLANNING & PLACE

County council to sell land and buildings worth up to £10 million to raise money and cut costs

Wedding venue Larkbeare House and gardens, County Hall residential development land and Compass House, home of adult mental health service Talkworks, among assets for disposal as part of property rationalisation programme.

Southgate development site plan

PLANNING & PLACE

Southgate development of up to 200 new flats on Magdalen Street car park to alter Western Way gyratory

Screening opinion concludes no significant environmental impact will result from Liveable Exeter scheme.

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Proposed Summerland Street 'co-living' block illustrative aerial view

PLANNING & PLACE

Revised proposals for Summerland Street 'co-living' block submitted

Developer of 147-bedspace six storey scheme on city council land claims it will contribute to local housing need, ensure 'mixed and balanced communities' and enhance the local conservation area.

NHS logo

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Radiographers join consultants and junior doctors on strike at Royal Devon NHS Trust

First industrial action of its kind comes as government consults on plans to threaten health staff with dismissal to compel them to work on strike days.

St Thomas library

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

St Thomas library forced to relocate when lease expires in November

Landlord Exeter Estates Holdings, controlled by Exeter Chiefs CEO and chairman Tony Rowe, sought substantial rent increase after withdrawing planning application to demolish library building and replace it with block of thirteen flats.

Exeter City Council litter bin

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Council to remove a quarter of city's 800 litter bins

It says many are under-used because they are in the wrong place or too close to other bins, and that city centre bins will be 'largely unaffected'.

The remains of the Royal Clarence Hotel in Cathedral Yard

PLANNING & PLACE

Royal Clarence Hotel rebuild finally granted planning permission

Agreed developer contributions do not include planned education provision and may be significantly reduced after construction is complete.

Illustrative elevation facing St Luke's campus

PLANNING & PLACE

Developer appeals Heavitree Road police station & magistrates court student/co-living blocks refusal

Devon & Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner and offshore-registered PBSA Heavitree Road S.A.R.L. seek to overturn Exeter City Council decision to reject application for 964-bed development beside The Gorge.

Royal Devon and Exeter hospital

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Four day strike by consultants and junior doctors at Royal Devon NHS Trust

Industrial action affecting almost all planned care marks first time consultants and junior doctors have taken strike action together.

St Petrock's mobile rough sleeper service

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

St Petrock's shortlisted for National Lottery project of the year award

Mobile rough sleeper service among seventeen finalists shortlisted from nearly 4,000 applicants to reach public vote stage of national award.

County Hall

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

County council forecasts £9.3 million overspend on top of £36.6 million SEND services deficit

Additional £10 million service delivery cuts, mostly from adult social care and children's services, to be allocated to government 'safety valve' deficit programme.

NHS Devon map

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Nearly 60,000 patients on Devon NHS dental services waiting list

Report says number of adults able to access NHS dentist in Devon has fallen to less than 40% as practices hand back contracts and commissioners struggle to procure replacement providers.

Wellbeing Exeter community building graphic

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Devon County Council cuts £270,000 Wellbeing Exeter partnership funding

Decision made in parallel with homelessness prevention funding cut decisions following January announcement of £50 million of unspecified 2023-24 budget cuts.

Cover of Exeter City Council draft 2023-27 housing strategy

PLANNING & PLACE

City council seeks feedback on council housing strategy

Exeter City Council is seeking feedback on a draft 2023-27 council housing strategy that will guide the way it manages its stock of 4,800 rented homes and 1,000 leasehold properties over the next five years.

View of the original proposals from New Bridge Street

PLANNING & PLACE

Exeland House 'co-living' proposals revised to address 'extreme increase in flood risks'

Environment Agency says most new residential development in River Exe floodplain 'will be required to be at first floor or higher' to deal with 'future flood risks exacerbated by climate change'.

The Gorge marketing graphic

PLANNING & PLACE

First Exeter 'co-living' rooms advertised to let from £1,045-£1,360 per month plus council tax

£40,800 minimum salary to rent 26.5 square metre room in six storey 133-unit block, promoted as two minutes' walk from university St Luke's campus, requiring tenants among top 20% of Exeter earners – or with wealthy guarantors.

Illustrative view of the development

PLANNING & PLACE

Plans for eighteen 'zero carbon' bungalows on Church Hill field submitted for approval

Low density development proposal on unallocated site above Pinhoe conflicts with local plan policies intended to protect Exeter's northern hills and landscape setting.

Proposed floor plans and elevations

PLANNING & PLACE

Plans for PBSA in back garden of Pennsylvania Road student HMO submitted for approval

Application for six-bed two-storey block cites neighbouring student block in back garden beside Devonshire Place orchard and play area as precedent.

Belluno Italian restaurant in Newton St Cyres

ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

Home Office fails in bid to shut down local restaurant

Hearing following December immigration raid revokes premises supervisor's authority and briefly suspends but stops short of revoking premises licence.

Exeter City Futures branding

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Exeter City Futures board minutes published nearly nine months after meeting held

Minutes confirm Global City Futures work on Exeter Development Fund continues via direct city council contract framework and suggest university could retain brand after company dissolution.

Pendragon Road greenfield development illustrative layout

PLANNING & PLACE

Pendragon Road development of 100 greenfield homes in Exeter's northern hills allowed at appeal

City council decision to refuse outline permission overturned by planning inspector citing 50% affordable housing provision and housing supply shortfall.

Howell Road garage covered in graffiti

PLANNING & PLACE

City council grants Howell Road garage flats permission despite pending PBSA appeal on same site

Developer still aims to build student accommodation block saying flats would be 'backstop' against loss of appeal while St James residents concerned students will occupy development either way.

Belluno Italian restaurant in Newton St Cyres

ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

Home Office demands closure of local restaurant

The Home Office has asked Mid Devon District Council to revoke the premises licence at Belluno, an Italian restaurant in Newton St Cyres, effectively shutting down the business.

Cover of Exeter City Council 2022-23 unaudited statement of accounts

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Annual inspection period begins as unaudited 2022-23 city council accounts published

Special information access rights enabling local residents to examine records and ask council and external auditor related questions apply until 12 October.

The Gorge co-living development under construction

PLANNING & PLACE

New Community Infrastructure Levy charges to be introduced by city council

Charges levied on most new development towards the cost of infrastructure that is needed to mitigate its impact are to change in line with council proposals that discount co-living development to facilitate its delivery.

Illustrative view of proposed development

PLANNING & PLACE

Water Lane redevelopment outline plans submitted to city council for approval

Up to 980 dwellings and 40,000m2 of other uses including student accommodation, workspace, education, retail and a hotel envisaged on ex-industrial site between railway embankment and the canal.

Heavitree and Whipton Active Streets modal filter illustration

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

New Heavitree & Whipton Active Streets scheme public exhibitions

Devon County Council is holding two further public exhibitions of the Heavitree and Whipton Active Streets scheme from 4.30-6.30pm on 12 September at Whipton Community Hall and at the same time on 14 September at St Mark’s Church Hall.

Royal Devon and Exeter hospital

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Two day strike by consultants at Royal Devon NHS Trust

A two day strike by consultants at the Royal Devon NHS Trust is being held from 7am on Thursday 24 August.

3 Rivers Developments development plan

PLANNING & PLACE

Council-owned property development company to be dissolved

Mid Devon District Council is expected to wind up 3 Rivers Developments Ltd, a failing property development company it set up in 2017 and has since loaned more than £21 million.

Just Stop Oil Exeter protest march

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Just Stop Oil protests arrive in Exeter

Slow march from Sidwell Street to Northernhay Gardens first action in city by group calling for end to UK fossil fuel exploration, development and production.

Bus lane

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Public consultation on county council moving traffic offence enforcement powers

Devon County Council is holding a public consultation until 18 September on its plans to adopt moving traffic offence enforcement powers and introduce Automatic Number Place Recognition (ANPR) cameras.

Exeter St David's station manager's office

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Exeter St David's station manager's office to be demolished

Network Rail has notified the city council that it plans to demolish the former superintendent’s office building at Exeter St David’s station in October.

NHS logo

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Four day strike by junior doctors at Royal Devon NHS Trust

A four day strike by junior doctors at the Royal Devon NHS Trust is being held from 7am on Friday 11 August.

Rough sleeper at Exeter Guildhall

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Devon County Council pauses homelessness prevention cuts

Devon County Council has paused its plans to cut a £1.5 million homelessness prevention budget following a campaign led by YMCA Exeter.

Tyre Extinguishers logo

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Tyre Extinguishers destroy Matford Jaguar dealership SUV tyres

Climate activists drilled holes in all four of the tyres of more than 60 SUVs parked at a Jaguar dealership in Matford during the early hours of Monday 7 August.

Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership area map

ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership to be wound up

The government has confirmed that the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership will be wound up in April next year.

Heavitree and Whipton Active Streets illustration

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Heavitree and Whipton Active Streets scheme trial begins

The Heavitree and Whipton Active Streets scheme trial has begun. The first six months, to 2 February 2024, are a statutory consultation period during which residents and organisations are invited to comment on the scheme.

Cover of Exeter City Council draft digital customer service strategy

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

City council invites comments on digital customer service transformation

Exeter City Council is inviting comments until 15 September on a draft digital customer service strategy that aims to make more efficient use of council resources by increasing its reliance on digital technology for service delivery.

University of Exeter Duryard Valley solar farm development site plan

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Council approves university solar farm in Duryard Valley greenfield

Officers say harm resulting from development of publicly-accessible urban green space outweighed by benefits of renewable energy generation.

Exeter Climate Action Hub opening ceremony

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Exeter Climate Action Hub threatened with closure by Crown Estate and Princesshay partners

Agents will not renew lease beyond 15 August or consider other accommodation, claiming all similarly-sized units in half-empty shopping centre are under offer.

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Exeter In Brief - July 2023

Keeping you in touch with local news that matters.

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St Sidwell's Point leisure centre behind derelict Exeter bus station

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

£1 million leisure overspend fuels £3.2 million city council deficit

2022-23 budget review confirms £2.2 million annual leisure subsidy to continue with St Sidwell's Point expected to make a loss for at least five years while another £22 million to be spent on Exeter City Living Vaughan Road development.

Casting House Water Lane development site compulsory purchase

PLANNING & PLACE

Compulsory purchase of flats and disposal of council land to enable Water Lane development site access

Exeter City Council to use powers to provide developer with land for new highways layout at gateway to proposed low-traffic neighbourhood.

Representatives of SEND Parents and Carers for Change standing in front of County Hall

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

SEND children's services still 'failing to deliver improved outcomes for children and young people'

Devon County Council says change is underway but parents say problems remain unresolved, not enough is being done and their views are being ignored.

Exeter In Brief - June 2023

Keeping you in touch with local news that matters.

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AirBnB website listing page

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Exeter councillor Yvonne Atkinson found in breach of code of conduct but escapes prosecution

Summary of investigation related to rental property interests involving Devon & Cornwall Police and Crown Prosecution Service withheld by Devon County Council while councillor campaigned for re-election to Exeter City Council.

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University of Exeter students 2001-2023 Freedom Of Information Act responses vs published Full-Time Equivalent numbers line chart

PLANNING & PLACE

University comes clean on true Exeter campus student numbers over past two decades

Figures obtained under Freedom of Information Act confirm between 7,500 and 12,000 more students based in city each year than university numbers suggest – until this year – with major implications for council planning policy.

Exeter In Brief - May 2023

Keeping you in touch with local news that matters.

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Harry Johnson-Hill Exeter Duryard & St James and Winchester Alresford & Itchen Valley candidate local elections campaign leaflets

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Exeter local elections candidate is also standing in Winchester

University of Exeter student Harry Johnson-Hill hopes to represent voters both in Duryard & St James and at home in Alresford & Itchen Valley, 100 miles away.

Clouds gather over County Hall

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Devon County Council admits 'serious, material, well-evidenced' governance failures

Deficient SEND and children's services combine with threat of section 114 bankruptcy notice to prompt 'root and branch' review aimed at restoring 'external confidence in the council's democratic legitimacy'.

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Exeter In Brief - April 2023

Keeping you in touch with local news that matters.

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Local authority economic activity levels change 2011-2021 census

ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

Decline in Exeter economic activity levels among largest in country

Census figures also show population increasing at nearly six times rate of job creation over past decade while healthcare, wholesale/retail and teaching make up nearly half of all employment, reflecting low pay and productivity.

Exeter In Brief - March 2023

Keeping you in touch with local news that matters.

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Special educational needs and disabilities protesters at County Hall

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Devon County Council charged with 'relentless institutional failings' in SEND children's services provision

Children with special educational needs and disabilities protest alongside parents at County Hall as Ofsted monitoring continues to find serious unresolved issues and key areas that require significant change.

Exeter empty and second homes by council tax band October 2022 bar chart

PLANNING & PLACE

Exeter has more empty and second homes than built in city in past two years

Council tax premium proposals that aim to raise additional revenue from underused housing stock might also encourage return to residential occupancy.

Exeter In Brief - February 2023

Keeping you in touch with local news that matters.

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University of Exeter students based at Streatham & St Luke's campuses 2021-22 & 2022-23 table

PLANNING & PLACE

30,000 students based at Exeter university campuses in 2022-23

Freedom of information request reveals significant drop on last year with postgraduate students accounting for 58% of fall in numbers.

Devon County Council headquarters at County Hall

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Underperforming county council children's services to receive nearly half of proposed spending increases

Details of simultaneous £50 million 2023-24 spending reductions not yet published as finance director cites service delivery 're-prioritisation'.

Exeter In Brief - January 2023

Keeping you in touch with local news that matters.

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Striking nurses at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Historic nurses strike goes ahead after government refuses to negotiate over pay

Royal College of Nursing members out in force at Exeter NHS trusts alongside colleagues across the country as recruitment crisis threatens profession.

England and Wales water company 2021 pollution incidents per 10,000m2 of sewer bar chart

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

South West Water performance remains among worst in sector as it falls further behind targets

Regulator highlights 'sustained poor performance' after serious pollution incidents nearly triple and Environment Agency condemns company in annual assessment.

Student houses in multiple occupation to let in Raleigh Road, Exeter

PLANNING & PLACE

Information Commissioner to investigate university over student accommodation numbers refusal

Compliance failure follows university admission that nearly 39,000 students based at Exeter campuses in 2021-22, suggesting around three quarters of city's private rented housing stock occupied by students.

Exeter In Brief - December 2022

Keeping you in touch with local news that matters

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University of Exeter Streatham campus picket line

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

University of Exeter staff strike in largest walkout in sector history

Dispute over pay, pensions and working conditions continues as universities generate record income.

Reclaim the Night protest in Bedford Street

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Reclaim the Night protest against sexual violence and harassment of women and girls in public space

Exeter event takes place after survey finding that 85% felt unsafe or very unsafe when walking alone in city centre at night, with police figures showing violent and sexual offences exceed 35% of all recorded crime in city.

Clydesdale, Nash and Birks Grange Village redevelopment illustrative elevations

PLANNING & PLACE

University holds public consultation on 1,700 bed West Park redevelopment design

Outline plans to demolish 30 buildings and construct 50,000m2 of student accommodation on fifteen acre Streatham campus site did not comply with university or council environmental policies.

Exeter Climate Action Hub

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Climate Action Hub opens in Exeter city centre

A dedicated climate crisis information and resource centre is opening on 25 November in an empty Princesshay retail unit to provide events, meeting space, film screenings and drop-in advice and support.

Exeter borough and Exmouth and East Exeter county constituency boundary changes final proposals combined map

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Pinhoe, St Loye's and Topsham all in new Exmouth and East Exeter constituency under revised changes

Final boundary commission consultation follows city council proposal to move marginal Pinhoe to safe Conservative seat and keep Priory Labour stronghold in city.

Exeter Purpose Built Student Accommodation map

PLANNING & PLACE

University says 39,000 students – nearly 30% of city's population – based at Exeter campuses in 2021-22

Freedom of information request reveals 11,500 more students than published FTE figures with major implications for council planning policy but university refuses to disclose numbers in PBSA vs residential housing stock.

Empty bus timetable

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Stagecoach proposes free travel and fast-tracked information upgrades to compensate for service failures

West of England traffic commissioner holds Exeter's principal bus operator to account at public inquiry, with final decision on performance expected this week.

The Gorge co-living block classic studio room floorplan

PLANNING & PLACE

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.

Summerland Street co-living block redevelopment site

PLANNING & PLACE

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.

Exeter Article 4 Direction area July 2011 map

PLANNING & PLACE

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.

Monkerton masterplan map

PLANNING & PLACE

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.

Exeter Statement of Community Involvement cover

PLANNING & PLACE

Council rejects calls for greater community involvement in Exeter planning policy and decisions

Council defends existing approach despite Statement of Community Involvement consultation producing just 17 responses, and won't do more to promote neighbourhood planning despite prospect of enhanced community powers.

Net Zero Exeter 2030 plan cover edit

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Exeter City Council abandons city 2030 decarbonisation 'ambition'

Unannounced decision to exclude scope 3 emissions constituting around 43% of Exeter's carbon footprint from 'net zero' plans effectively ensures city will not meet its decarbonisation goals.

Exeter Live Better sugarloaf cable car

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Council reveals plan for 'Pods in Exeter's Sky' to beat city congestion

Exeter City Futures proposal connects key city sites with a network of Alpine-style cable cars as an alternative to traffic improvement measures.

Exeter Ukrainian refugee support hub Conversation Café

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Ukrainian refugee support hub opens in Exeter city centre

Conversation Café pop-up offers information, resources, events and meeting space to help cut through the confusion surrounding the Homes for Ukraine scheme and enable Devon's response to the crisis.

Individual overseas ownership of Exeter property titles 2010 to 2021 bar chart

PLANNING & PLACE

Individual overseas ownership of Exeter property triples in ten years

350% rise greater than in Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster, increasing housing costs, reducing home ownership levels and harming housing affordability.

Devon council climate action plan Climate Emergency UK scorecard scores bar chart

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Exeter decarbonisation plans found wanting in nationwide council climate action plan study

Somerset West and Taunton highest scoring local authority area with East Devon in third place nationally in comprehensive Climate Emergency UK analysis.

Universities social mobility scatter chart showing University of Exeter ranking

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

University of Exeter ranked bottom of Russell Group and 103rd overall in social mobility league table

Landmark study by Institute for Fiscal Studies, Sutton Trust and Department for Education finds University of Exeter undergraduates are less likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those that do are less likely to be high earners.

Reclaim the Night march on Exeter High Street

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

500 march in Reclaim the Night protest against sexual violence and harassment on Exeter streets

Annual event promoting public awareness of male violence against women and girls in public spaces coincides with international human rights campaigns.

Black-tailed godwits in Exe Estuary

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Exe Estuary wildlife refuges succeed in increasing bird numbers

Three year monitoring study confirms introduction of protected spaces has resulted in greater numbers of wildfowl using internationally important Dawlish Warren and Exmouth sites.

St Thomas Community Garden volunteers

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

First St Thomas winter market brings festival feel to 'overlooked' area of Exeter

A community-run event at St Thomas Church combines artisan traders with music, storytelling and craft workshops to create a family-friendly festival atmosphere.

Extinction Rebellion Exeter activists fly flag outside COP26 Exeter event at Maketank with COP26 Exeter photography project in window

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

COP-EXE event showcases local responses to global climate crisis

Exeter city centre venues host exhibitions promoting local action to mitigate the climate crisis in tandem with the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

RMT campaign sticker on Exeter bus shelter

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Stagecoach strike to take place following failed pay negotiations

Transport union RMT says Stagecoach pay offer is unsatisfactory and demands better conditions as staff shortages threaten services.

Exeter borough constituency boundary changes initial proposals map

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Proposed Exeter parliamentary constituency changes pit Priory against Pinhoe

City council responds to boundary commission consultation by proposing Conservative East Devon takes marginal Pinhoe and city keeps Priory Labour stronghold instead.

Peninsula Transport vision document cover image

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

30 year plan for SW transport outlined in consultation document

Strategic vision places investment in roads ahead of decarbonisation despite acknowledging the region's high car dependency rate.

Job Centre Plus entrance

ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

Exeter workers to be among hardest hit by £20 cut in universal credit

Analysis shows proportion of benefit claimants in Exeter in work is among highest in country.

Bar chart showing 2020 pollution incidents per 10,000km2 for the nine privatised water companies in England

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

South West Water misses pollution targets for tenth year running

Environment Agency says regional company's performance 'drags down the whole sector's reputation' as report places it at bottom of annual assessment league table while company pays out millions in shareholder dividends.

Harlequins revised redevelopment scheme illustrative elevation

PLANNING & PLACE

Harlequins developer plans to scrap hotel to build second 'co-living' block on shopping centre site

Existing planning approval will be factor in decision to return to earlier, rejected, vision which would mean 378 studios and 'cluster flat' rooms along Paul Street.

Extinction Rebellion climate activist Imogen May

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Environmental activist Imogen May defiant after second liability order for non-payment of council tax

Extinction Rebellion demonstrated at Exeter Law Courts in support of Crediton lone parent who has withheld council tax for two years in protest over government climate crisis inaction.

Kinder Exeter community festival on Cathedral Green

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Kinder Exeter community festival brings compassion and colour to city centre

Week-long event bringing artists, academics, students and communities together for online and outdoor activities was first of planned annual festivals facilitated by Maketank artists' collective.

District heating network diagram

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

South West Exeter district heating network plan abandoned

Property developers refuse to back scheme despite local authorities committing £7.3 million to project to supply 2500 new homes with waste heat from Marsh Barton incinerator, Exeter's largest single source of carbon emissions.

Interim Devon Carbon Plan consultation responses net zero target date preferences

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Devon Carbon Plan consultation finds majority want net zero by 2030

Devon Climate Emergency Response Group questions whether 2030 'realistic' and suggests 'palatable' compromise while only 13% of consultees support UK government's 2050 target.

Exeter City Council in session at Exeter Guildhall - Inauguration of Lord Mayor

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

High Court rules council meetings must resume in person after local elections

Case seeking judgement to allow local authority meetings to continue remotely when temporary coronavirus regulations expire fails to override requirement for primary legislation.

Met Office graph showing 2020 global mean temperature difference from 1850-1900

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

World Meteorological Organization report confirms 'relentless' intensification of climate crisis despite pandemic lockdowns

2020 set to be equal warmest year on record despite cooling La Niña while Internal Energy Agency warns post-pandemic economic stimulus expected to drive second largest annual increase in carbon emissions in history and UK emissions set to overshoot 2030 target by 40%.

Claire Wright

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Independent county councillor Claire Wright stands down

First elected to Ottery St Mary Town Council in 2009, the parliamentary candidate for East Devon in 2015 and 2017 also served on East Devon District Council for four years and Devon County Council for eight years.

Exeter the musical promo poster

ARTS & CULTURE

Council announces plan to produce 'Exeter the Musical' at city's Corn Exchange

Exeter City Council has announced a plan to produce a musical theatre extravaganza billed as 'an ambitious celebration of a better life in the world's most world-class city' as part of its UNESCO City of Literature celebrations.

Empty retail units at The Depot Purpose Built Student Accommodation block on Cheeke Street in Exeter

PLANNING & PLACE

Developer plans to convert retail units in Exeter city centre block to additional student bedrooms

Conversion of five of eleven shop/leisure units at The Depot in Cheeke Street would add nineteen rooms to existing 715 bedrooms in monolithic PBSA.

Train at Okehampton Station in 2015

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Okehampton to Exeter 'Dartmoor Line' passenger rail service reinstatement confirmed

£40 million Department for Transport 'Restoring your Railway' funding to enable trains every two hours by end of this year, with plans to increase to hourly service during 2022. Stakeholders combine to get South West infrastructure needs onto Whitehall agenda.

Atmospheric rise in carbon dioxide from the industrial revolution to the present

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Atmospheric concentration of CO2 now 50% above pre-industrial levels

Met Office says 2021 will be first year on record in which symbolic threshold breached for more than a few days as UK prepares to host COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Exeter Princesshay Debenhams closing down sale

ARTS & CULTURE

Top floor of former Debenhams store to be converted into cinema

Princesshay owner's proposals for change of use to four screen cinema and cafe/bar have been under discussion since November 2019.

Independent councillor Jemima Moore campaigns in Newtown during the 2019 Exeter local elections

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Door to door campaigning for May local elections to go ahead after all

Government announces relaxation of coronavirus restrictions on election canvassing from next Monday 8 March in step with planned lockdown rule changes.

Devon County Council local authority pension fund fossil fuel investment bar chart

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Report places Devon County Council among UK's top local authority fossil fuel investors

£157 million of Devon Local Government Pension Scheme is invested in companies including Royal Dutch Shell, BP, BHP, Anglo American and ExxonMobil despite local authority climate emergency declarations and carbon reduction commitments.

Exeter polling station

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

May local elections to go ahead despite COVID-19 challenges

Ban on doorstep canvassing and door to door leaflet distribution likely to favour the two major parties on 6 May as postal and proxy voting encouraged in Exeter City Council, Devon County Council and Devon & Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Illustration showing how the new building will look when completed

ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

Exeter Science Park STEMM 'grow-out building' construction begins

A new specialist centre for fast-growth Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths & Medicine businesses will be completed by November 2021.

Exeter energy recovery facility

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

District heating network planned for new South West Exeter development

Local councils are investing up to £7.3 million in a £23 million project to supply a development of 2500 homes with heat which depends on the Marsh Barton waste incinerator, Exeter's largest single source of carbon emissions.

Climate change mitigation challenges infographic

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

University research consortium launches 'Accelerate to Net Zero' project

The GW4 Alliance of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter universities has launched a collaborative project aimed at accelerating decarbonisation across South West England and Wales.

Clydesdale and Birks development illustrative view

PLANNING & PLACE

University plans to demolish 30 buildings to construct ~50,000m2 of new student accommodation

Permission sought for 1,250 new bedrooms on fifteen acre Streatham campus Clydesdale and Birks development site, half as large again as 1,200 bedroom East Park development.

Longbrook Street student accommodation development site King Billy public house

PLANNING & PLACE

Renewed permission sought for Longbrook Street student block

Developers are seeking to renew previously-granted planning permission for an eight storey 108-bed student accommodation block on the site of the King Billy public house.

Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital Wonford NHS Trust parking sign

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Hospital creates parking for 200 cars despite city climate crisis goals

Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital says new parking 'temporary' but no end-date given in planning application and no hard evidence of need provided.

Pedestrians and people waiting at bus stop on Exeter Cowick Street

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Council abandons temporary COVID-19 cycling and walking safety plans in Exeter city centre

Devon County Council cites 'pushback' from traders as schemes on North Street, South Street, Fore Street and Cowick Street are scrapped. Meanwhile temporary changes in Topsham are dropped after 'snap poll'.

Exeter City Futures Net Zero Exeter 2030 plan

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Exeter City Council accepts climate emergency plan to make city carbon neutral by 2030

Chief Executive warns that resourcing the plan is 'problematic' given COVID-19 financial challenges and that lack of resources limits the council's capacity for immediate practical action.

Cyclists, pedestrians and cars compete for space on Union Road, Exeter, 1 June 2020

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Devon County Council fails to deliver promised COVID-19 cycling and walking infrastructure

Deadline for action on social distancing for safe travel set by county cabinet member passes despite Devon receiving £1.7 million share of government emergency fund.

Exeter Cathedral and Quay car park top deck

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Coronavirus halts decision to spend £3.9 million on car park repairs and upgrade

Exeter City Council spending plans will be revisited in June at same time as Net Zero Exeter carbon reduction plan is discussed by Executive.

Night shelter for homeless and rough sleepers in Magdalen Street, Exeter (front)

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Exeter rough sleepers night shelter to open all year round

Exeter City Council has approved plans to extend Magdalen Street night shelter opening from April to the end of September.

Cranbrook town centre development site empty plots

PLANNING & PLACE

Cranbrook town centre community building application submitted

Devon County Council is to develop new town centre facilities including a children's centre with public health nursing provision, youth centre with indoor and outdoor recreational spaces and library with small café.

Exeter Princesshay deserted under COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Exeter City Council announces £1.584m April budget shortfall caused by COVID-19 restrictions

Council revenues have fallen dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic, prompting a £6.357 million capital spending deferment. But financial support from government has so far been limited.

Small retail businesses on Paris Street, Exeter

ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

Half of COVID-19 support grants unclaimed by Exeter businesses

Exeter City Council in bottom third of local authorities as only 45% of eligible local businesses claim government coronavirus support money.

Exeter University & College Union strike third week rally at St David's Church - Billy Bragg concert

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

University of Exeter strike ends third week with rally and concert at St David's Church

The Exeter branch of the University & College Union (UCU) is taking part in four weeks of national industrial action over pensions, equal pay for female and BAME staff, increasing workloads and the use of casual employment contracts.

Exeter Youth Strike 4 Climate banners on South Street

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Exeter climate strike anniversary march brings junction to standstill

Protestors form human chain around County Hall to highlight Devon County Council's role as key regional climate policy decision-maker after Exeter City Council confiscates banners promoting carbon neutral blueprint policies.

Sally Ride, America's first woman astronaut communicates with ground controllers from the flight deck

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

University of Exeter PRISM network champions queer STEMM pioneers

Exeter students celebrated the lives of polar explorer and botanist Elke Mackenzie, inventor, engineer and futurist Nikola Tesla and astronaut and children's author Sally Ride in winning LGBT+ network competition entries.

Jubilee Beauty - Exeter Central library chidren's area rocking horse

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Exeter library children's horse to keep on rocking!

A crowdfunding appeal has successfully raised £1000 to repair Exeter Central library's popular rocking horse, Jubilee Beauty.

Exeter election polling station

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Conservatives hold Topsham in Exeter city council by-election

A by-election held on general election day produced an unusually high turnout but a lower Conservative vote share than at the May local elections.

Striking University of Exeter history lecturers Dr Jennifer Farrell and Dr Gemma Clark

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

University of Exeter staff strike over pay, pensions and working conditions

The Exeter branch of the University & College Union (UCU) is taking part in a national eight day strike for fair pay and pensions, including equal pay for female and BAME staff, and against casualisation and increasing workloads.

2019 Devon County Council Heavitree & Whipton Barton by-election Exeter vote share swing bar chart

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Exeter Labour support collapses in Heavitree & Whipton Barton county by-election

Greg Sheldon wins Devon County Council division by just 40 votes after Labour loses nearly a fifth of its previous vote share.

Exeter Global Climate Strike Bedford Street crowd

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Thousands march in Exeter for global climate strike as millions mobilise worldwide

Fridays for Future Exeter led 3500 people on a climate crisis demonstration through the city backed by dozens of organisations on the eve of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.

Rhian Keyse speaking at Exeter UCU's anti-casualisation campaign launch

COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Education union challenges university to address widespread casualisation of teaching staff

Exeter University & College Union (UCU) launched an anti-casualisation campaign on Friday as a prelude to negotiation with the University of Exeter over academic staff contracts.

Extinction Rebellion Exeter funeral march climate crisis High Street

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Mock funeral march brings Exeter city centre to a sombre standstill

Extinction Rebellion campaigners brought the gravity of the ecological emergency home to Exeter on Saturday in a funereal procession commemorating wildlife loss caused by climate change.

Preston Street Union present SERGE/SURGE at Cricklepit Mill

ARTS & CULTURE

Preston Street Union rolls out the red carpet

The Exeter-based artists explore migration driven by the city's historic wool trade in new work commissioned by RAMM.

Rainbow Trail LGBTQIA+ exhibition queers RAMM for Exeter Pride 2019

ARTS & CULTURE

Rainbow Trail LGBTQIA+ exhibition queers RAMM for Exeter Pride 2019

A new collaboration between X-Plore Youth Devon, Exeter College LGBTQ+ society, Natalie McGrath of Dreadnought SW and Dr Jana Funke of the University of Exeter explores gender and sexual diversity across time, place and culture by reimagining objects from the RAMM collections.

Exeter City Council city centre wards map

DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Exeter Labour loses local elections in all three city centre wards

Voters in Exeter yesterday elected three new councillors to represent them in the key wards that cover the city centre, with all the city's ruling Exeter Labour group candidates missing out despite the party's confident campaign.

Extinction Rebellion climate emergency protesters in Exeter Guildhall shopping centre

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Extinction Rebellion Exeter stages climate emergency protest

Today around 70 people joined the Exeter branch of Extinction Rebellion on the city's streets to demand urgent action to minimise the risk of catastrophic impacts from climate change.

Kaleider Mikrofest Our Dancing Shadows in Exeter Princesshay

ARTS & CULTURE

Out of sight, out of mind

An Exeter performance of From The Light of The Fire, Our Dancing Shadows for Kaleider Mikrofest appears to favour illusion over truth in a confused rendering of Plato's cave allegory that leaves both performers and audience in the dark.

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Electoral Commission voting options graphic

BRIEFINGS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

When, where and how to vote in the 2024 Exeter local elections

Our guide to casting your ballot in person, by post and by proxy as well as voter ID requirements and new regulations for postal votes.

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

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.

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