The Draft Exeter Local Plan is now out for public consultation, with comments able to be made up until 5th December 2022. The draft Plan will set out the direction for future growth in the city up to 2040.
For those already aware of Exeter’s existing approach towards new development, some key themes in the new Plan will be familiar. There is a strong emphasis on optimising the city’s economic and housing potential whilst marrying this with proper place making and a drive towards achieving net zero by 2030. However, a critical difference is the degree of emphasis which is now being placed on the development of large, brownfield sites. There is no major greenfield land proposed to be allocated for development, instead brownfield sites are proposed to provide for the growth required.
In total, the Plan proposes 14,300 homes, with these to be provided mainly through the allocation of some large brownfield sites in central areas including Matford and the area around the Quayside. This represents a departure from the existing approach which has seen growth being brought forward via greenfield expansion of the city, mainly to the south and east.
Given the need to protect Exeter’s setting and its wider character, it is considered that there are now very limited opportunities for further greenfield expansion without generating unacceptable harm. Notably, the draft Plan proposes that the hills which enclose much of the city are to continue to benefit from protection. However, the Plan does accept that in order to ensure flexibility on housing supply, there is likely to be a need to respond positively to ‘windfall’ type proposals on smaller brownfield sites. Similarly, it doesn’t completely discount the possibility of some small scale greenfield development from coming forward in certain circumstances and where the site characteristics justify it.
The consultation presents an opportunity to offer up alternative sites to those proposed within the draft Plan as well as to influence the strategic direction of planning and development in Exeter. Get in touch with our Exeter office for more information about how these proposals may affect your applications and for advice on the best way to comment.
Leisure and Tourism