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Exeter Vision backed by councillors

It's now been formally adopted.

Cllr Pete Edwards, leader of Exeter City Council, said that the 20-year ‘Liveable Exeter’ vision gives the council a chance to shape the way that development takes place in the city.

Liveable Exeter highlights the property crisis while trying to solve transport challenges facing the city, proposing a need for residents to ditch cars and walk and cycle instead.

Some major arterial routes, including the Exe Bridges roundabout and Topsham Road, are shown to be vastly different and partially pedestrianised while the stunning artist’s impressions show how some of the city’s busiest areas could be transformed into leafy, pedestrianised neighbourhoods.

Exeter City Council’s executive committee last night (Tuesday 12th February) recommended to full council to adopt the vision for the city.

Cllr Edwards said: “This is a very exciting vision for the future and unless you have a vision for housing and we are prepared for the future, housing developers will come in and pick up off. We don’t have a five year housing land supply so developers can come and say they want to build wherever they want and we have little defence, so at least this is a vision for the future.

“If we do it right then the council is in charge of its own destiny rather than housing builders coming and saying what they want to do to our city.”

Cllr David Harvey backed him, saying that this plan is the only sensible way to deliver a greener vision for the city, while Cllr Phil Bialyk added: “I full heartedly support this. 13,100 homes or 655 a year, is the amount we have to deliver, so this is sort of challenge we have. This is a positive approach and we need the vision.”

Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, leader of the opposition, said that there were a lot of things are great ideas but the devil will be in the detail.

He added that he liked the idea of neighbourhoods rather than housing estates being created and looked forward to seeing it develop, but added: “It is light on public transport and how to get around, and we certainly would not be ready to get rid of one of the Exe Bridges tomorrow.”

Presenting the vision, Karime Hassan, Chief Executive & Growth Director, had said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity for the city to take stock and decide the direction of travel and to look years ahead and decide on the vision for the next 20 years for the city.

“This is not a planning document. This is a vision rather than a plan, but is comprehensive view of how we wish to go forward as a city.”

The vision highlights the potential for eight transformational projects across the city:

1: Red Cow Village (St David’s) – 664 homes in new neighbourhood, including new work space, including use of under-utilised station buildings, in a highly accessible location.

2: Water Lane – 1,567 homes in a new place to live and work. A space for expanding leisure attractions near the quay, with low traffic or car-free development with attractive cycle and walking connections.

3: Marsh Barton – 5,544 homes in a new neighbourhood for Exeter. The area remains an important employment and retail area, but with the integration of living and working where uses are compatible, to make better use of riverside location. Development linked to proposed train station. Creation of new types of work space, including light industrial, workshops, office and shared work space.

4: East Gate – 962 new homes, an enhanced approach to the city centre from the east, reduced traffic on Heavitree Road and a greater provision for public transport, walking and cycling. New places to live close to the city centre will exist alongside existing neighbourhoods.

5: West Gate – 617 new homes, opening up access to the river and canal from the city centre, a new cultural destination on the river, an expanded and connected park at the heart of the city, a Green Bridge promoting active travel across the river.

6: South Gate – 300 new homes, establishing an improved link between the city centre and the historic quayside, with a greater emphasis on the wall, city gates and Southernhay, linking from

Southernhay to the Quay, and a new arrival to the city centre from Topsham Road.


7: North Gate – 308 new homes, a new approach to the city from St David’s, uncovering the medieval city wall between Friernhay and Northernhay Gardens, a new living opportunity at density in the heart of the city.

8: Sandy Gate – 1,050 new homes in a new sustainable and well connected mixed-use neighbourhood, bridging the city and the new and existing neighbourhoods to the east, providing recreational, cultural and entertainment space where Exeter meets the newly formed Clyst Valley Park.

A full decision on whether adopt the vision will be made at the full council meeting on February 26.

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