Public consultation
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.

Liveable Exeter Placemaking Charter cover image

ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Liveable Exeter Placemaking Charter consultation skewed towards only one of five 'core tools'

Private developers' forum and other major components of new charter not mentioned in council communications, but transparency and new 'culture of openness' to 'help build trust in the planning system' emphasised throughout.

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

Peninsula Transport Strategy front cover

NEWS  ⁄  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.

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.

Heavitree & Whipton active streets trial scheme map

NEWS  ⁄  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.

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

Cover of Exeter City Council draft 2023-27 housing strategy

NEWS  ⁄  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.

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.

Proposed floor plans and elevations

NEWS  ⁄  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.

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.

Heavitree and Whipton Active Streets modal filter illustration

NEWS  ⁄  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.

Bus lane

NEWS  ⁄  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.

Heavitree and Whipton Active Streets illustration

NEWS  ⁄  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

NEWS  ⁄  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.

Rough sleeper sheltering at Exeter Guildhall

ANALYSIS  ⁄  COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

County council determined to axe homelessness prevention funding despite zero support for cuts

Fate of £1.5 million contract sealed before consultation began with district councils and services providers kept in dark and huge prospective financial and human costs, dwarfing claimed savings, ignored.

Exeter In Brief - July 2023

Keeping you in touch with local news that matters.

, updated

Casting House Water Lane development site compulsory purchase

NEWS  ⁄  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.

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.

Rough sleeping at Exeter Guildhall

ANALYSIS  ⁄  COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Devon County Council social care cuts target homelessness services

£1.5 million homelessness prevention service funding cut will make situation worse for people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness and is likely to cost more than it saves.

Exeter City Council community grants budgets bar chart

ANALYSIS  ⁄  COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Council slashes community grants but splashes cash on paddling pools in contested wards

Exeter grants programme budget reduced from £425,000 to £15,000 leaving hundreds of grassroots groups out in the cold as the impact of borrowing takes its toll and council fails to consult on budget cuts despite auditor recommendation.

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.

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

NEWS  ⁄  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.

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.

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?

Church Road traffic congestions

ANALYSIS  ⁄  TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

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.

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.

Magdalen Road public consultation results option preferences bar chart

ANALYSIS  ⁄  TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

£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.

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/MldQeWmF2_g

NOTES & SKETCHES  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Tik tok

The county council-convened Devon Climate Emergency Response Group (DCERG) has continued its apparent commitment to avoiding public scrutiny of its decision-making by simultaneously publishing the minutes of six of its meetings (which are held in private without published agendas) at the end of May — despite some being held in March.

https://unsplash.com/photos/R7nSPG8edVI

NOTES & SKETCHES  ⁄  TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

More talk less action

The county council has derived more surprising new insights from the second phase of a consultation on the impact of traffic in Heavitree and Whipton.

https://unsplash.com/photos/Xq0goxN9F3w

NOTES & SKETCHES  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

We heart climate crisis

Anyone who might have been tempted to believe that the climate crisis is at the heart of everything Exeter City Council does (as it repeatedly claims) need look no further than its response to the consultation on the Devon climate assembly’s output report for clarification.

Exeter Digest #9: Pennsylvania petitioners - Devon Pension Fund - University social mobility - Harlequins fate sealed

Our ninth newsletter is a bumper edition providing plenty of independent public interest journalism to keep you company on long midwinter evenings.

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 borough constituency boundary changes initial proposals map

NEWS  ⁄  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.

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 #4: University and council drop development standards - Exe valley under threat - Kinder Exeter community festival

In the fourth edition of our newsletter we also welcome trainee reporter Jenna McGill to the team and introduce the first Exeter Observer caption competition.

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.

Net Zero Exeter logo

COMMENT  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Is Exeter City Council going to abandon its Net Zero 2030 target?

Review suggests alignment with Devon Carbon Plan, currently aimed at 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050, citing 'technical and financial challenges ahead', although change in policy would require decision by councillors after 6 May local elections.

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.

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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