Exeter Local Plan
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.

St Bridget Nurseries illustrative layout

NEWS  ⁄  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.

Exeter City Council allotment fees increases 2016 to 2024 line graph

ANALYSIS  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Council plans huge allotment fees increases to claw back cash from 1,500 city gardeners and growers

Plot holders provided with incomplete picture as consultation held which does not comply with council's own charter and delayed scrutiny report that omits key survey findings suggests council aims to turn profit from allotment provision.

, updated

Land Trust garden community development of 3,000 homes at Beaulieu, near Chelmsford

ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Liveable Exeter 'garden city' branding is about government funding, not green space

New Exeter Local Plan policy 'principles' have little in common with historic vision revitalised for 21st century by TCPA for government programme, while consented Haven Banks scheme and proposed new town near Exeter Airport have even less.

Clarendon House student accommodation proposals illustrative view - front

NEWS  ⁄  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.

University of Exeter St Luke's campus boundary aerial view

NEWS  ⁄  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.

New Exeter local plan graphic

BRIEFINGS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

City council holds consultation on full draft of new Exeter Local Plan, set to guide development to 2040

Second major consultation begins as government introduces sweeping national planning system reforms including transfer of powers to Whitehall and changes to scope of local plans and local plan-making processes.

, updated

New Exeter Local Plan Water Lane site allocation map

NEWS  ⁄  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.

, updated

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

NEWS  ⁄  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.

, updated

Exeter City Living hoarding at Clifton Hill sports centre development site

SPECIAL REPORTS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Exeter City Living to be all-but wound up after £4.5 million losses with £10 million owed to council

Council expects resulting resale value of surrendered Clifton Hill development site not to cover company's debts, with remaining losses to be written off, as Liveable Exeter vision thrown into doubt and councillors evade responsibility for failure.

Illustrative elevation facing St Luke's campus

NEWS  ⁄  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.

The Gorge marketing graphic

NEWS  ⁄  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

NEWS  ⁄  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.

Exeter City Futures branding

NEWS  ⁄  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

NEWS  ⁄  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

NEWS  ⁄  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.

Victoria Street co-living proposal illustrative view

ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

101-bed 'co-living' complex proposed in the heart of St James

Council vision for city's future on collision course with neighbourhood plan policies in Victoria Street scheme described as 'yet more student housing by stealth'.

Illustrative view of proposed development

NEWS  ⁄  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.

Exeter City Council consultants' Article 4 direction area report option 3 map

SPECIAL REPORTS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Council student accommodation policy proposals overlook 50-80% of student-occupied housing stock

Article 4 direction & HMO SPD consultation omits key information, confuses licensing and planning matters, misrepresents NPPF requirements and proposes barely discernible changes in place of needed new Exeter Local Plan policies.

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

NEWS  ⁄  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.

Co-living - discover a new way to rent

SPECIAL REPORTS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Council development levy changes are insufficiently evidenced and don't meet city infrastructure needs

Exeter City Council and Liveable Exeter partners impose faulty typology driven by policy objectives while ignoring new local plan, evidence base and statutory funding statement and excluding residential and retail charges from review.

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

NEWS  ⁄  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.

Clydesdale, Nash and Birks Grange Village redevelopment illustrative elevations

NEWS  ⁄  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 adults who do any walking or cycling for any purpose 2016 to 2021 bar chart

ANALYSIS  ⁄  TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Figures show declining Exeter walking and cycling rates as active travel delivery falls by the wayside

County council plans to remove Queen Street active travel infrastructure despite road space reallocation commitments expose equivocal city transport policy aim.

Exeter Purpose Built Student Accommodation map

NEWS  ⁄  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.

Illustrative ground floor plan

ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Heavitree Road developer gets sixth pitch for student/co-living complex

Eight design iterations, six council meetings, four consultation rounds and two deferrals combine to impede public participation in planning process on key Liveable Exeter site and increase chances of decision being overturned at appeal.

Computer generated aerial view of proposed development from south

ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Flood risk threatens to sink Haven Banks redevelopment plans

Proposals for 434 rental units accommodating up to 1,167 people on 1.7 hectare Liveable Exeter site would deliver extreme housing densities that deny amenity to prospective occupants while inflicting significant impacts on existing residents.

Exeter City Council outline draft local plan site allocations crop

COMMENT  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Will council seek investment zone status for Liveable Exeter sites?

Government growth plans combine tax breaks with planning deregulation, putting affordable housing provision and environmental protections at risk with little evidence that promised investment zone benefits would result.

New Exeter local plan cover

BRIEFINGS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

New Exeter Local Plan outline draft consultation

Our guide to Exeter City Council's consultation as well as the national planning system reform threatening major changes that would require significant revision to the new plan before its submission to the planning inspectorate.

, updated

The Gorge co-living block classic studio room floorplan

NEWS  ⁄  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

NEWS  ⁄  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 City Futures Exeter Development Fund presentation slide

COMMENT  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Exeter Development Fund: rent extraction, unaffordable housing and gentrification, but not net zero

Exeter City Futures' private debt-driven Liveable Exeter property development financing scheme is under fire from councillors who say it is based on insufficiently-evidenced assumptions and won't meet Exeter's housing needs.

E3 cycle route Chard Road modal filter

COMMENT  ⁄  TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Exeter cycling & walking strategy five years late and counting

County council soft-pedalling on infrastructure plan which city council says will not form part of new Exeter Local Plan despite Department for Transport guidance.

Liveable Exeter community engagement with council development director Ian Collinson

COMMENT  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Property development promotion as community planning participation

If the Liveable Exeter property development scheme and its Exeter Development Fund financing vehicle are already intended to 'anchor and underpin' the new Exeter Local Plan, what will public consultation on the plan decide?

Exeter Article 4 Direction area July 2011 map

NEWS  ⁄  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.

https://unsplash.com/photos/x5icsOgc7Lw

NOTES & SKETCHES  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Irrationale by design?

The second of two RAMM-hosted Liveable Exeter promotional events, focussed on Exeter’s future as a “garden city”, took place last night with the city council’s Director of City Development, Ian Collinson topping the bill.

Exeter Statement of Community Involvement cover

NEWS  ⁄  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.

https://unsplash.com/photos/uFdCDgnoNVI

NOTES & SKETCHES  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

RAMM-bunctious

The city museum is the latest Exeter institution to get roped into fronting Liveable Exeter property development scheme promotion.

https://unsplash.com/photos/PC91Jm1DlWA

NOTES & SKETCHES  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Has the county council learned its lesson?

Judging by the “ample space” for greenfield business park and housing development promoted in the “Clean Growth Vision for the West of East Devon” it commissioned from City Science Corporation (an Exeter City Futures sister company) for submission to the East Devon Local Plan consultation, it seems not.

Exeter Digest #7: CityPoint pop-ups reprieve - When is a PBSA not a PBSA? - Greta tells it like it is

In our seventh newsletter we review recent key stories, round up the news in brief and highlight think tank ideas for 'community-powered conservatism' and how to deliver for real housing need.

Exeter Digest #6: Liveable Exeter Place Board double bill - Scrutiny under scrutiny - Catastrophic climate change or cake?

In the sixth edition of our newsletter we review key stories from the past few weeks, get some perspective on our predicament and find some unlikely claims on a local Labour leaflet.

Exeter Digest #5: Second Harlequins 'co-living' block? - Arts centre opens despite CityPoint threat - City of Culture bid - Parliamentary boundary review

In the fifth edition of our newsletter we review key stories from the past few weeks and announce the return of our community journalism training courses and workshops.

Clydesdale, Nash and Birks Grange Village redevelopment illustrative elevations

SPECIAL REPORTS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

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.

Exeter Digest #3: Devon Pension Fund fossil fuel investment - SW Exeter district heating network - Exeter local election results

The third edition of our essential newsletter offers something for everyone on sunny bank holiday weekend.

Exeter Digest #2: Exeter local elections guide - Majority want net zero by 2030 - Council meetings to resume in person

With the local elections a week today and a bank holiday weekend on its way we thought we'd publish our second edition a day early to give you extra time to take your pick of our top stories.

Exeter Digest #1: Statistics in the balance - Dartmoor Line to reopen - Local elections are coming

In this first edition of Exeter Observer's email newsletter we introduce our format and bring you up to date with our coverage over the past couple of months.

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

NEWS  ⁄  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.

Maclaines Warehouses beside Exeter ship canal

ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

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 and canal basin.

Pulling Road Pinhoe Exeter zero carbon housing development site plan

ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

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'.

Front elevations of proposed development at Mount Radford Lawn

ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

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.

Greater Exeter Strategic Plan banner

ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

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?

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