Planning & Place
Exeter Statement of Community Involvement cover

NEWS

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.

Flowerpot Playing Fields

ANALYSIS

Will Exeter College fence off Exwick community playing fields?

Exeter College redevelopment plans at Exwick and Flowerpot Playing Fields threaten a three metre fence around public-accessible playing fields and their replacement with artificial turf. Will it change course after widespread objections?

Exeter Labour manifesto for Exeter City Council 2022 elections - front cover

ANALYSIS

Do Exeter Labour election campaign claims stand up to scrutiny? Part I: Exeter's housing crisis

The first instalment in our 2022 local elections coverage examines Exeter Labour claims related to the housing crisis overtaking the city.

Exeter student house in multiple occupation

ANALYSIS

Council consultants confirm 58% of Exeter's university students live in city's residential housing stock

2021-22 university figures suggest there are now more than 4,500 student HMOs in the city, consistent with ONS findings, with number set to surpass Exeter's council housing provision.

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

NEWS

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.

Pennsylvania housing stock in Sylvan Road, Exeter

ANALYSIS

Pennsylvania petitioners expose fifteen years of flawed student accommodation policy-making

City council policies based on faulty premises, inaccurate information and miscalculated projections have failed to prevent mass student occupation of Exeter residential housing stock despite the proliferation of Purpose Built Student Accommodation across the city.

Harlequins revised redevelopment scheme - block two model view Paul Street elevation

ANALYSIS

Exeter City Council approves second Harlequins "co-living" block, sealing fate of Paul Street

Previously rejected vision will now form basis of "abysmal" and "poorly thought through" Liveable Exeter development of 383 "units of accommodation" with increased proportion of substandard studios but reduced economic value to city.

Independent local business on Paris Street, Exeter

ANALYSIS

Prospects improve for pop-up Paris Street and Sidwell Street tenants wanting to stay on development site

Council leader Phil Bialyk says it will be "some years" before planned CityPoint redevelopment affects repurposed retail units, and that council "would want" to accommodate artistic and cultural initiatives and independent local businesses "should they wish to remain".

Clifton Hill sports centre

ANALYSIS

Council plans to scrap affordable housing requirement for Clifton Hill sports centre site redevelopment

Council-owned and financed developer cites unpublished report which values council-owned land for student housing despite council decision ruling out this use.

Harlequins revised redevelopment scheme illustrative elevation

NEWS

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.

New Haven Field in Exeter's Riverside Valley Park

ANALYSIS

River Exe green spaces and heritage harbour site threatened by "Liveable Exeter" development scheme

Exeter Civic Society and Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent councillors raise alarm at prospect of Exeter City Council development in river valley park and historic canal basin.

Clydesdale, Nash and Birks Grange Village redevelopment illustrative elevations

ANALYSIS

University drops environmental standards for huge student flats development with council approval

University of Exeter and Exeter City Council both ignore own policies in plans to demolish 30 buildings and construct 50,000m2 of new student accommodation, telling us more about their priorities than their climate leadership claims.

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

NEWS

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 on Cheeke Street would add nineteen rooms to existing 715 bedrooms in monolithic PBSA.

Maclaines Warehouses beside Exeter ship canal

ANALYSIS

Maclaines Warehouses development tests Exeter Heritage Harbour status

Decisions taken behind closed doors in favour of commercial interests threaten maritime and waterway heritage vision for Exeter’s historic quay, canal and canal basin.

Clydesdale and Birks development illustrative view

NEWS

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

NEWS

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.

Harlequins shopping centre

ANALYSIS

First Liveable Exeter homes are substandard "warehousing for people" which is student accommodation "in all but name"

Harlequins shopping centre redevelopment approved by Exeter City Council includes 251 co-living units in seven storey tower block despite widespread opposition from conservation charities and community campaigners who have since appealed to the Secretary of State to call in the decision.

Pulling Road Pinhoe Exeter zero carbon housing development site plan

ANALYSIS

Exeter's first "zero carbon" housing development includes 96 car parking spaces for 40 homes

Exeter City Council has approved plans to develop land at Pinhoe with a parking ratio of 2.4 cars per household as part of an "exemplar scheme for future residential development in the city" while accepting that zero carbon construction comes "at a cost to the provision of affordable housing".

Cranbrook town centre development site empty plots

NEWS

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 Paris Street construction site on which Roman remains were found

ANALYSIS

Echoes of Exeter's Roman past reveal risks to city's future vision

The unexpected discovery of Roman remains on Exeter's bus station redevelopment site suggests significant risks may also exist for the adjacent Citypoint regeneration scheme.

Exeter net zero carbon housing pilot project in Chestnut Avenue in Wonford

ANALYSIS

Exeter net zero housing revolution takes root in Chestnut Avenue

Exeter City Council is taking exploratory steps from talking about a zero carbon future to delivering one with a pilot housing project in Wonford.

Front elevations of proposed development at Mount Radford Lawn

ANALYSIS

Mount Radford Lawn development proposals conflict with St Leonards community vision

Exeter Deaf Academy hopes to sell a school playing field to developers who plan to build luxury homes. Local residents have other ideas about how best to use the land. A dispute is looming over an historic green space driven by prospective profit from planning gain.

Exeter Clifton Hill sports centre

ANALYSIS

Clifton Hill sports centre – the background

Storm Emma met the Beast from the East and dumped a huge amount of snow on the roof of Exeter's Clifton Hill sports centre, setting off a chain reaction which has ignited two campaigns and put Exeter City Council's approaches to competence and openness into sharp focus.

Greater Exeter Strategic Plan banner

ANALYSIS

Is the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan GESPing for air?

The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan has been a long time in gestation. When it finally arrives, will it deliver?

Exeter St James period housing stock

COMMENT

Exeter St James regeneration

How can the supply of low-cost, incrementally investable city centre accommodation be stimulated to attract and retain creative, technically-skilled young entrepreneurial talent?


Help power our public interest journalism

Transport & Mobility
Church Road traffic congestions

ANALYSIS

Alphington "enhancements" will not mitigate traffic impact from massive South West Exeter extension

County council manipulates public consultation and allocates just 1% of £55 million grant to pedestrian scheme while spending 75% on new roads and increased road capacity for 3,500 new cars expected on greenfield housing estate.

Magdalen Road public consultation results option preferences bar chart

ANALYSIS

£900,000 to keep Magdalen Road one-way system despite decisive public support for low traffic street

County council misrepresented and omitted key public consultation findings in report and did not publish results until after decision taken in favour of option with only 18% public support. Exeter Observer snapshot survey finds 90%+ motor vehicles passing shops are through traffic.

GALLERY

Kidical Mass Exeter: "The best day ever"

300 people took part in the first Kidical Mass Exeter family bike ride on Sunday 15 May as part of a global campaign for safe cycling routes for children, young people and families.

Arts & Culture
  • SATURDAY 30 JULY 2022

    Phonic Fest 2022

    Exeter Phoenix is hosting a day of live music from local artists plus DJs to raise money for Phonic FM, Exeter's community radio station.

    EXETER PHOENIX

  • SUNDAY 5 JUNE 2022

    The Big Spork! Poetry Picnic

    Spork! is holding an interactive family-friendly indoor poetry and music workshop on picnic blankets.

    EXETER PHOENIX

  • TUESDAY 24 MAY 2022

    The Shadow: a Devon for Ukraine fundraiser

    Soviet playwright Evgengy Schwartz' poetic and philosophical retelling of a Hans Christian Anderson tale is a subversive fable about choices we make for social and political gain and for love.

    MAKETANK

  • Climate & Environment
    Climate delay discourse typology

    ANALYSIS

    Do Exeter Labour election campaign claims stand up to scrutiny? Part III: Climate & environment

    The third in our 2022 local elections series examines Exeter Labour claims about climate crisis leadership, renewable energy, recycling, retrofitting and development standards as well as decisions to scrap council and city decarbonisation goals.

    Net Zero Exeter 2030 plan cover edit

    NEWS

    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.

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

    NEWS

    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.

    Democracy & Governance
    Exeter City Council 2022 annual meeting 17 May 2022

    ANALYSIS

    Labour councillors appointed to all fourteen city council committee chairs at annual meeting

    Council leader falsely claims "overwhelming majority" voted Labour in Exeter local elections while circumvention of council decision-making scrutiny continues.

    Exeter City Council party seat distribution after 2022 local elections

    ANALYSIS

    Greens take three seats from Labour so Progressive Group replaces Conservatives as official opposition

    Conservative loss in Topsham among significant vote share changes in 2022 Exeter City Council elections suggesting city's political landscape in flux.

    2022-23 band D council tax charges ranges (England)

    ANALYSIS

    Do Exeter Labour election campaign claims stand up to scrutiny? Coda: Council tax

    The last part of our 2022 local elections series is a coda examining Exeter Labour's claim that the city has one of the lowest rates of council tax in the country.

    Community & Society
  • SATURDAY 9 JULY 2022

    Kidical Mass returns to Exeter in July

    Kidical Mass Exeter is holding its second family bike ride and picnic as part of an ongoing global campaign for safe cycling routes for children, young people and families.

    BELMONT PARK

  • MONDAY 27 JUNE 2022

    PRISM Exeter Pride month queer science celebration

    Devon network champions LGBTQIA+ STEMM contributors and the impact they have had on young people in queer science competition.

    UNIVERSITY OF EXETER

  • SUNDAY 15 MAY 2022

    Kidical Mass comes to Exeter

    Kidical Mass Exeter is holding its first family bike ride and picnic as part of a global campaign for safe cycling routes for children, young people and families.

    BELMONT PARK

  • Economy & Enterprise
    Exeter 2020 net internal migration by age group bar chart

    ANALYSIS

    Exeter beset by unaffordable housing, low graduate retention and economically inactive over 50's

    Exeter City Council executive ignores key challenges flagged in major council-commissioned employment and skills research report.

    Shops to let on Exeter High Street

    ANALYSIS

    Do Exeter Labour election campaign claims stand up to scrutiny? Part II: Economy & city centre

    The second in our 2022 local elections series examines Exeter Labour claims about the city centre and Exeter's wider economy, including its misrepresentation of content marketing materials as authoritative sources of information about the city.

    Job Centre Plus entrance

    NEWS

    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.