Exeter regional planning & place

Notes to help potential contributors develop their understanding of planning and place policy and practice in and around Exeter.

If you are considering contributing to Exeter Observer please see our contributors guide.

These notes are work in progress, and may require revision: please get in touch with any corrections or suggestions for additional content, including key documents.

More topic notes:

More topic notes are coming soon. These will cover Exeter regional arts & culture, climate & environment, economy & enterprise, education & skills and health & wellbeing.

National planning framework

  • 1947 Town & Country Planning Act - “nationalisation” of land, urban sprawl, post-war context
  • Labour regional spatial strategies, would have gone to now-defunct Regional Development Agencies (RDAs)
  • 2000s - 20+ Planning Policy Statements
  • 2010 - National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Infrastructure policy statements, all intended to short circuit traditional system

NB don’t attempt to master the detail!

Regional planning

Local planning

  • Exeter City Council (ECC) Local Plan

    • Composition
    • Process for adoption
    • Five year land supply problem
    • Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) cf. PBSA
    • Neighbourhood Plans inc. Ide, St James

Key issues

  • St Sidwell’s Point - bus station redevelopment + Passivhaus leisure centre inc. Paris Street closure?
  • Citypoint inc. build to rent/co-living?
  • Liveable Exeter “Transformational housing delivery programme” inc. Future Places scheme
  • Exeter City Group inc. Exeter City Living - capital and revenue financing, Clifton Hill sports centre site
  • Housing Revenue Account and Prudential borrowing limits
  • Purpose Build Student Accommodation (PBSA) - St James Article 4 Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)
  • Housing costs vs wages - Exeter now sixth least affordable city in country
  • Eastwards development inc. Cranbrook, Monkerton, Newcourt + Growth Point/Enterprise Zone inc. science park/skypark/airport, Sandy Gate + retail sites inc. Moor Exchange, Middlemoor (D&C Police), Western Power Distribution
  • Ikea - 28,000m2 retail, parking for 1000 cars, generating 390,000 linked journeys into city centre each year
  • Exeter College Hele Road redevelopment
  • Royal Clarence Hotel
  • South Street regeneration inc. closure?
  • Corn Exchange revelopment vs. purpose-built performance venue
  • Exeter City Council surface car park redevelopment
  • Exeter Quay inc. Mallison bridge
  • Cranbrook
  • Building Greater Exeter skills initiative

Key documents

Exeter Observer blog

An open letter to all members of the Exeter Observer team

The situation is changing quickly. The electoral commission have proposed the cancellation of the May local elections, several universities are moving to online-only teaching and it seems likely that there will be a wave of event cancellation announcements early next week.

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Free two day news writing seminar on 14 & 21 March

Want to help hold wealth, power and influence to account in Exeter & East Devon? Get involved in a new independent public interest community journalism project!

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Next community journalism course begins 22 February 2020

Want to help hold wealth, power and influence to account in Exeter & East Devon? Get involved in a new independent public interest community journalism project!

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Exeter Observer joins Independent Community News Network

Exeter Observer's application to join the ICNN has been successful, connecting us to a network of more than a hundred similar projects across the UK.

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Exeter Observer joins BBC Local News Partnerships

Exeter Observer's application to join the BBC Local News Partnerships has been successful, granting access to the BBC News Hub and Shared Data Unit and the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

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Exeter Observer agrees regulatory framework with IMPRESS

Exeter Observer is now regulated by IMPRESS, the only Leveson-compliant PRP-recognised independent UK press monitor.

Exeter Observer blog

An open letter to all members of the Exeter Observer team

Exeter Observer logo

Free two day news writing seminar on 14 & 21 March

Exeter Observer logo

Next community journalism course begins 22 February 2020

Independent Community News Network logo

Exeter Observer joins Independent Community News Network

BBC Local News Partnerships logo

Exeter Observer joins BBC Local News Partnerships

IMPRESS logo

Exeter Observer agrees regulatory framework with IMPRESS

Recent stories
Exeter City Council offices on Paris Street

Analysis  ⁄  Democracy & governance

Council pushes back on Liveable Exeter Place Board scrutiny following membership change

Exeter City Council has responded to an enquiry about disproportionate Church of England representation on the Liveable Exeter Place Board by accusing Exeter Observer of promoting a "partisan narrative" and claiming our public interest reporting "bears no resemblance to fact".

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

News  ⁄  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

News  ⁄  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

News  ⁄  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

News  ⁄  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 from Marsh Barton waste incinerator.

Climate change mitigation challenges infographic

News  ⁄  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.


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