Agenda item

Planning Application No. 22/1145/FUL - Haven Banks Retail Park, Haven Banks, Exeter

To consider the report of the Director City Development.



The Principal Project Manager (Development Management) (HS) presented the application for a comprehensive redevelopment to deliver a new, mixed use neighbourhood, comprising demolition of existing buildings and construction of four residential-led mixed use buildings of two to six storeys, including retail, cafe/restaurant and flexible commercial units (Class E), residential (Class C3) and co-living (Sul Generis)accommodation, pedestrian square and public realm, amenity areas, landscaping, access, parking, servicing and associated works (revised plans).


He set out the detail of each of the key site sections, commenting on the interrelationship, scale, height, and massing. Members were also provided with the detail though a site plan, site photos, an indicative site plan and indicative elevations and set out the following key elements:-


·      the application was for a residential mix of development between two and six storeys with 184 co-living and 239 flats;

·      the 1.7 hectares site at Haven Banks was currently a retail park and included a number of empty retail units, a bowling alley, which was still in operation and a car park.

·      the site was allocated for regeneration as part of the larger Water Lane development and emerging Local Plan policy;

·      policy constraints included the whole area located within a floodplain but it was noted that there had been no historic flooding associated with this site, and

·      the site was adjacent to a conservation area which included the locally listed Electricity Generating Building.


The Principal Officer Urban Design and Landscape Officer (MP) also provided the history of the area and Canal Basin. He referred to the existing character and gradual change from rural to a post industrial phase. He also referred to national and local planning policies which encourage the optimum use of brownfield sites. Currently there was little public realm, but the site which was adjacent to the Water Lane area, including the Quay and Canal. He presented detail which guided Members through an orientation of the site, which included a sustainable pattern of movement within the four blocks and the skyline.


The recommendation was for approval, subject to the conditions set out in the report and the update sheet.


Responding to Members’ queries, the Principal Project Manager (Development Management) (HS) advised that:-


·      the loss of trees in the centre of the site was to be determined, any retention of the trees on the existing car park would reduce capacity of the site. The application had been amended to retain some of the trees on the north west boundary and included a condition for new tree planting if required.

·      the number of properties moderately affected by the loss of light had been reduced, with two properties having reduced internal light levels and the light of a garden space of another. The majority of properties on the boundary of the site retained a good level of direct sunlight and the application met the BRE (Building Research Establishment) standard.

·      a flood evacuation plan had been submitted with the application, and officers continued to work with the Environment Agency over concerns of potential flooding, but in flood risk terms due to the mitigation proposed, this development would provide a benefit to the area.

·      a request for funding from the Royal Devon and Exeter Healthcare Trust had been received for acute care provision relating to the first year of occupation relating to this development.

·      a Section 106 contribution for walking and cycling improvements could also be used in connection with the Mallison Bridge, or around the Alphington Street and Water Lane junction.

·      the presentation illustrated a number of sections to demonstrate the interrelationship of the blocks, showing the separation, height and relative position.

·      the site would be serviced from Water Lane with a dedicated service bay for refuse, and space for delivery vehicles at the rear of Blocks C and D.

·      although Co-cars and Co-bikes had gone into administration, an alternative provider is currently being procured through Devon County Council.

·      the design of apartments in Block C had been revised with entrances from the ground floor through corridor change, now included a hallway.

·      the co-living units contributed to housing supply using a national multiplier of 1.8 to calculate the dwelling equivalent. The application made optimal use of density of an urban brownfield site to help address the shortfall in the five year land supply.

·      the Principal Highway Development Management Officer (Exeter) advised that the area surrounding the development would be subject to a Traffic Regulation Order. Residents who reside in this development would not be able to join the Residents’ Parking schemes in the surrounding area, but there would be consideration of extending private parking residents’ schemes in the local area.

·      the management plan would secure occupation restrictions in tenure duration and manage occupant behaviour.

·      this scheme compartmentalised the co-living building into two sections, with further division by floor, with a kitchen in each of the subsections offering an opportunity to actively manage groups within the scheme. The kitchen sizes were adequately sized to the ‘London’ standard.

·      Affordable Housing for Build to Rent was set at a 20% level and would be managed within the scheme, with a representative split across the unit types.

·      adjacent dwellings with solar panels should not experience significant drop in levels of light.

·      a technical specification for tree grading was put together by an arboriculturist. The detail included the amenity value and health of the trees on site and anticipated length of life. Any retained trees that might be damaged or did not prosper would be replaced.

·      the Police Architectural Liaison Officer had provided detailed advice regarding that security measures.

·      a small play space would be provided within the site, with a Section 106 contribution for off-site enhancement.

·      a management plan would be secured as part of the legal agreement.

·      a right to walk through the managed central space would be in place through the legal agreement.

·      five small commercial units would more likely attract local businesses as occupants.

·      consultation was carried out on the revised scheme, and

·      a minimum 10% biodiversity net gain was being implemented nationally next year. The application included a metrics level of 24%.


The Principal Officer Urban Design and Landscape Officer (MP) added that the point raised of the blocks experiencing significant windy conditions was not deemed to be a particular issue.

Councillor Moore, having given notice under Standing Order No. 44, attended the meeting to speak on the item as a Ward Member.  She also sought permission to offer comments from Councillor Read as a fellow Ward Member:-


·      that this proposal for a Build to Rent proposal would not help Exeter meet its stated aim of building balanced communities.

·      light levels for neighbouring properties would be reduced and be below acceptable limits in winter.

·      she commented on a proven biodiversity net gain, which was now a requirement for all major developments.

·      the development was out of character with the nearby Heritage Harbour.

·      the application should be rejected as it had not demonstrated suitability for this area of Exeter, nor suitability with the stated policies of Exeter City Council.


Councillor Moore raised concerns on the following points:-


·      that whilst some form of residential development on this site in this iconic part of Exeter would be acceptable, the complexity of the application and concerns from residents should be sufficient grounds for refusal.

·      in referencing the Exeter Design Quality Partnership (EDQP) changes to the application had been welcomed, but information on how the scheme would fulfil its ambition and principle on the site were sought. 

·      Liveable Exeter sought mixed and balanced communities.

·      a Section 106 contribution towards improvements to pedestrian and cycling safety were sought for the locality, around Mallison Bridge.

·      the development would impose an additional demand on healthcare services, and detrimentally affect safety and care quality for both new and the existing local population. The contribution to GP surgeries was inadequate.

·      a shared amenity space was a key element of the co-living model, but the potentially transient occupation of residents may not create a feeling of community.

·      there had been no response from Infrastructure :Wales and West Utilities over connection issues.

·      an assurance that all areas, reaching more than Part L of the building regulations (BREEAM excellent standards) across the whole of the site to demonstrate quality marks had been sought.

·      the EDQP commented on future connection to a future District Heat Network. 

·      the temperature of the accommodation may fluctuate and overheating should be balanced with the approach to ensuring daylight was adequate in dwellings.

·      occupants would not have parking permits, and there were no car ownership rights in the area.

·      the developer had failed to properly consider and manage the traffic impact of deliveries, which would be beyond the expected 21 deliveries per week suggested by the applicant.   With over 590 residents, that could equate to 839 parcels per week or 119 per day.

·      the busy junction with Alphington Street and Haven Road would not cope with the existing traffic at peak times. Traffic control/calming measures for pedestrian traffic would further exacerbate the risk of serious injury resulting from a road traffic collision. The management plan for the building was unacceptable.

·      the developers had advised that light levels for adjacent occupiers would be below limits in winter. One suggestion was to relieve the massing of Block C to admit more sunlight into the central spaces and routes. A wind study and flood evacuation should be conducted.

·      the redesign was not acceptable and the scale of the scheme would still be overbearing on Stream Court and Diamond Road in particular.

·      the height of the development remained significantly too high, with an impact on existing neighbourhoods. The Water Lane SPD had no status as yet, but it has specified that the height of new buildings should be no more than two stories higher than adjacent buildings.

·      the development would have a significant impact and reduction in direct sunlight or diffuse light levels to properties in Stream Court, Greenford Villas, Water Lane, Waterside, Chandlers Walk, Maritime Court, Diamond Road, and the Coolings. One property would have the level of sunlight in the garden reduced by half, and four properties would have a 50% reduction to two hrs of sunlight. Loss of in building privacy or overbearing impact was also raised, together with an impact on the income generation of some solar panels.

·      this density per hectare was above the LDA Design’s 2021 ‘Exeter Density Study which recommends a minimum for future development in this area at 120 dwelling per hectare (dph).

·      423 units had been proposed, and the fact that there was no conventional shared external amenity space associated with Block B was contrary to the City Council’s amenity guide Policy DG4.

·      this application would be an overdevelopment and not acceptable or sustainable in planning terms. 

·      20% of the Build-to-Rent flats and the co-living units were Affordable Housing which was consistent with other Build to Rent developments in the city. It did not accord with the Council’s own policy of a rate of 35% affordable homes.  The 84 homes were welcomed, but the affordable rents were not affordable and should be conditioned to the local housing allowance level.

·      concern that the development would harm views from the Grade II Listed Colleton Crescent, as well as the character of the Canal Basin, and an effect on the historic quay/ heritage harbour status.

·      none of the existing trees on the site should be lost without good reason. The amended site layout had failed to retain significant and important trees, on the Haven Road and Water Lane frontages.   There will be minimal space to larger tree planting due to the footprint of the development.

·      a study was being commissioned as part of the options for a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA), Flood Warning and Evacuation Plan would include consideration of the creation of a strategic Southern Safe Access and Egress route. She understood the flood plan would not be developed when this site was built, and only developed once other sites were bought forward, with a general plan for the area.  It was important to ensure the flood mitigation measures and the flood escape routes were in place with the Environment Agency. 

·      in conclusion, this was an unsuitable development and she suggested a number of planning grounds to refuse this application included: flood risk, loss of tree, overbearing, design, massing, density, overshadowing, insufficient infrastructure, and lack of community cohesion.

·      Members would be making an extremely important decision and would be the first test of the Liveable Exeter principles and she referred to the future of Water Lane along its whole length and not just this site.  She referred to the test of the Liveable Exeter principles to inform a decision that could inspire the residents of Haven Banks to agree or those residents objecting to poorly designed developments that fail to deliver the homes the communities need.


Councillor Moore responded as follows to queries from Members:-


·      she had responded to the draft Local Plan and the Water Lane Supplementary Planning document consultations and welcomed the principle of higher density living and the use of brownfield sites. She referred to comments on density and of creating decent homes for Exeter residents. It was important to make sure the Liveable Exeter principles inform good design and development on brownfield sites.

·      there was little ability or inclination for the expansion of any of the GP surgeries, despite the £187,000 sum allocated for that purpose. The local GP surgeries in St Thomas, Barnfield Hill and Alphington had no plans for expansion. There had not been a GP surgery in the St David’s ward for a number of years and new dedicated facilities were needed.


The meeting was adjourned at 8.00pm and the meeting resumed at 8.07pm.


Councillor Pearce having given notice under Standing Order No. 44, spoke on the item. He confirmed that he was in attendance as the Portfolio Holder for Communities and Homelessness Prevention in the city and raised the following points: -


·      Exeter had over 8,000 social rent homes and over 2,400 individuals were on the Devon Home Choice register;

·      this development would address the number one need for one and two bedroom flats;

·      there were only 100 affordable, one and two bedroom flats in the city and this proposal would deliver an additional 50 affordable rent homes and increase the options for those renting;

·      Exeter was a thriving city, but the supply of homes of all types remained a challenge. Property prices were now 9.8 times the average salary and beyond the reach of many people in the community;

·      this development offered the opportunity for accommodation at an affordable rent to enable people to live, work and contribute to a growing and thriving city;

·      the cherished green space was not being taken away;

·      there was a local shift to develop brownfield sites;

·      over 1,000 licensed HMO’s could also be seen as co-living properties, but those existing HMO’s were often in older properties, with limited community space and a poor energy rating;

·      this development would have lower running costs for the occupants, lower maintenance for the landlords, encouraging investment in other areas such as ensuring the green space would be maintained, provision for cycle storage and good access to public transport;

·      the reality of increased delivery traffic was likely to be unfounded;

·      Members should support the application to deliver some of the much needed homes in the community.


Councillor Pearce responded as follows to queries from Members:-


·      the 35% affordable housing level related to market housing for sale, and the 20% figure related to Build to Rent schemes.

·      the affordable rent classification of 80% referred to market rent. The level of building in the last decade had not kept pace with the population growth and the supply side had driven up rents and the cost of buying homes.


Councillor Bialyk having given notice under Standing Order No. 44, spoke on the item. He spoke as the Leader of the Council with an overarching vision for the city. He raised the following points:-


·      there had been long standing plans to rejuvenate this area of the city as most of the industry had gone, leaving in the main derelict and contaminated land, which did not accord with a modern successful city like Exeter;

·      he understood the bowling alley business was looking to move;

·      the whole area, including Water Lane was ready for change and using a brownfield site, saved the hills of Exeter and created good urban living;

·      the accommodation would address police concerns about anti-social behaviour;

·      the Quay offered a vibrant and waterfront community and be a great place to live and work;

·      the Quay had seen many changes and the development of the site in Haven Banks and the Piazza Terracina had similar blocks of accommodation in terms of height;

·      the choice of a developer investing in this area and contributing to the next phase of regeneration was a massive vote of confidence for the city;

·      Members were in a major strategic position to signal taking the city forward.

·      the views around Colleton Crescent remained important;

·      the aim was to build a decent city urban environment;

·      Exeter had the biggest travel to work area outside of London and people wanted to come to Exeter to live, shop and play;

·      this would be a co-living development and not student accommodation;

·      there could be 300 or 400 people living there, renting those properties for a period of time;

·      families would be accommodated to provide a balanced community;

·      some of the co-living room sizes may be smaller but the accommodation would provide all that occupants would want;

·      the 20% affordable accommodation with 80% of accommodation for rent would help those people, who do not qualify for social housing;

·      the application sent a signal to the developers and others of what the City Council is doing to address the housing crisis in the city.

·      he commended the support in the negotiations by officers which demonstrated the commitment and care taken over the application.


Councillor Bialyk responded to a Member’s observation of the level of objections from local residents.

Richard Smith attended and speaking against the application, on behalf of the Haven Banks Residents’ Group raised the following points: -


·      the Haven Banks Residents’ Group had over 150 members, not just in their neighbourhood, but from every ward in the city. He referred to the 353 public objections to this application.

·      the Quay and Heritage Canal were used by people throughout Exeter and their friends, family, colleagues and local businesses care about what happens there.

·      the Group did want to see housing development on Brownfield land including this site, which forms a 1.7 hectare portion of the wider 36 hectares earmarked for around 1600 homes as part of the Water Lane site. The applicant was proposing to put a 5th of the 1600 homes, on less than a 20th of the site which was a massive over development.

·      there should not be five and six story blocks next to two story dwellings in any part of the city. This proposal should be rejected outright on density, appearance, height and massing.

·      the delay in the proposed dry flood escape route floods was a concern. The area had flooded twice with heavy rain which fell in September resulting in flood water covering both the road and the pavement. The Environment Agency’s computer modelling statement was accepted in July, two months prior to the flooding event. It was a public safety issue which could not be ignored. There was an actual risk to life, which needed to be properly investigated and signed off by the Environment Agency.

·      if Members felt they were unable to refuse on either of the overdevelopment or flood risk, he suggested that the decision be deferred until after a balloon study was carried out, so that the enormity of the proposals could be seen on the ground. The accommodation would overshadow its neighbours, impact on residents’ daylight and solar panels and be detrimental to two conservation areas, as it would be seen from Colleton Crescent. A large part of the precious views of the hillside would be lost as well, as the views from the neighbourhood up to the Cathedral and tower, over the climbing centre and waterside development and ‘stick out like a sore thumb’.

·      it was not a dangerous site to walk through at night despite some comments made at the meeting.

·      he added that the occupants of the bowling alley had no intention of moving from the site.

·      in summary the application should be refused, based on the height, density, massing and appearance, on public safety grounds and risk to life due to the concerns of flooding.  


He responded as follows to Members’ queries:-


·      the flash floodwater in September may have been surface water run off from Haven Road, as there was normally water standing on the junction following heavy rain, which would follow the direct escape route for the site. He had not received a response to an email sent to the Environment Agency about the flood event, which he said was unsafe.

·      he was not aware that any CCTV cameras had been put down the drain by the water company.

·      there would be limited time to evacuate residents in the event of a flood and the only route proposed may quickly result in a search and rescue operation. It was unsafe and the Environment Agency would need to sign off on this before any approval was given.

·      a neighbour had described the potential loss of light to their property, suggesting it would be akin to be living in a cave. The daylight report referred to the significant impact on residents, and the effect on solar panels.

·       the 35% affordable housing policy would not apply to the homes for rent.

·      there would be 423 homes, some of which are co-living, which will be 17.5% of the 1600 homes on the wider Water Lane. That equated to 1.7 hectares out of 32 hectares or 4.7% of the available land, which was an overdevelopment. He suggested reducing the development by two storeys.

·      the view from some residents’ back gardens would change. His property would be effected and he would look out on a brick wall, rather than trees and the waterside development, as the application was significantly higher than the existing properties.

·      the wider Water Lane application was only at outline planning stage, and it was likely to be a number of years before a safe escape route for flooding would be built over the railway line. He acknowledged that a contribution would be made, but it was not clear how that contribution would be calculated or when the scheme would be put in place.


Colin McQueston of Copland Estates speaking in support of the application, thanked Members for the opportunity to present and raised the following points: -


·         the application would reinvigorate an underused and predominately redundant retail park into a vibrant and sustainable new neighbourhood, that would kickstart Exeter City Council’s Liveable Exeter Vision.

·         the proposal would offer a comprehensive, well designed residential redevelopment. It would contribute a significant number of new homes within a high-quality development and fulfil an Exeter housing need and address the shortfall in the five year land supply.

·         the development would include a range of accommodation including studios, one, two and three bedroom homes on a sustainable brownfield site close to the city centre. It would provide a new form of tenure in this part of Exeter, with professionally managed accommodation including 84 of those homes being provided as affordable, in compliance with City Council policy.

·         the application would bring significant investment into the Water Lane area. The £75 million construction budget would filter down to the local sub contractor market, and the scheme when completed would contribute an estimated £2.,5 million of additional local expenditure.

·         they had been working on the application for over two years with close collaboration with officers and stakeholders, which was reflected in the quality and sustainability of the development.

·         extensive consultation had been undertaken with varied comments resulting in a number of changes to the scheme over the course of the consultation.

·         every effort had been made to address concerns, but they could not incorporate all feedback and adhere to local and national policy in delivering the scheme.  He added that through a managed process, they would be open to meeting any resident formally or informally to discuss the proposals.

·         in conclusion, a car light approach had been adopted and in acknowledging alternative modes of transport along with improved pedestrian connections and significant cycling provision and access to car parks.


He responded as follows to Members’ queries: -


·         it was intended to provide 20% affordable homes across the whole range of accommodation including co-living.

·         the affordable housing accommodation would not be placed in one block.

·         the play spaces and boulevard were part of the landscaping with an element of children’s play space with grass and gravel in the active areas.  The Section 106 contribution would be for facilities elsewhere.

·         the car parking management had yet to be determined. He suggested the occupants of the co-living accommodation may not require parking, with demand coming from the family accommodation.  The tenants will be aware from the commencement of the scheme, of the limited or no car parking space. Considerable time had been spent researching similar schemes across the country with a shift to other modes of transport.

·         the height of the blocks in the immediate locality, including other housing stock and the Waterside development had been carefully considered. The application had taken a long time to achieve, and the Build to Rent product would come with a significant management and community facility. 

·         as a developer they were subject to all legal approvals and the next step would be to build and identify a partner who would own the buildings long term. The Build to Rent product would offer more security than renting for tenants, with options for leasing for a number of years.

·         the blocks would all be under the same ownership.

·         there was no exact timing of when the affordable housing element would be released, but a mechanism would be established at commencement and was included in the financial modelling.

·         another operator for replacement Co-bikes would hopefully be identified when the development comes forward. 


The Director City Development made the following points:-


The Liveable Exeter Schemes would be seeking the highest level of quality. This application was for a flagship site, and the first Liveable Exeter Scheme coming forward for development. It was a critical moment for the Council and the brownfield first approach, would be a key test of that strategy.  The site was largely derelict and offered little amenity to the community and had a negative impact on the area of Haven Banks, Water Lane and the Quay. The application would have an overwhelming positive impact, not just on Water Lane, but on the whole city.  This application offered an alternative and transformational opportunity.


The detailed report contained a full technical assessment of all the issues with the involvement of experts in the field, including the negotiation and collaboration achieved with the developers. The Environment Agency had conducted detailed modelling to test the application. The 423 homes would provide Build to Rent apartments, with co-living studios offering a new form of housing for this area, complementing the housing there. The proposal would provide accommodation for single people, couples, and families with access to terraces, balconies and private amenity space. The four to six storeys were expected to complement and respect the character of the area. This development would enhance connectivity with its streetscapes, pedestrian thoroughfare and public spaces as expected in mixed use communities, creating a safer environment and encouraging walkability.


In conclusion he thanked the Planning team, who had spent 18 months working on the design of the scheme, which had evolved significantly and was now ready for Members to consider.


Members debated the application and made the following comments: -


·      whilst development on brownfield sites should be supported, the density and massing of the accommodation provided in this application would not offer a family friendly environment. The lack of a formal children’s play area was a concern, with older children particularly affected. A Section106 off site contribution could not be considered sufficient development. The affordable housing element would not be affordable for those on low wages, but aimed at those in professional occupations. The Environment Agency’s flood report was signed off before the September flooding occurred. There was concern over the loss of light and overlooking of rear gardens for some adjacent properties. The environment of the co-living hotel style accommodation effectively offered a bedsit and could isolate some residents. The Member was grateful to the officers for their work on the application, but she would not be voting in favour, and suggested that the scheme be deferred to give more opportunity for the developer to continue discussions with local residents.

·      development on a brownfield site should be welcomed along with a Build to Rent and co-living in this location, but remained concerned about the massing and density of the site, and the impact that would have on the community. He referred to the issues raised by Councillor Moore and suggested that if only half of the many points she had raised were considered, it would offer grounds to consider if this gain was needed. The application would be setting a standard for brownfield development in Exeter, and it was important to be right. The Member would be voting against the application and hoped that further discussion could take place to achieve a scheme that meets the needs of the community.

·      Exeter needs more homes, and this application offered an opportunity for a range of different accommodation.  The Member referred to comments made on the lack of opportunity for play and referred to the proximity to nearby play parks, playing fields, the Valley Park and other options including the climbing centre and water sports. Co-living was a newer concept and not something that many people will have experienced, but the amenity and shared community it can create will suit some people. A suggestion that any isolation might impact mental health could occur in any HMO or bedsit. The Member said she would be supporting the application, which would provide much needed housing in a sensible location.

·      that officers should be congratulated on the efforts made negotiating this application to provide 423 homes, including 84 affordable homes on a sustainable brownfield site. The following comments were made which included - being reassured by the agreed conditions in relation to flooding; acknowledging the concern over the scale and density, disappointment of the loss of light for adjacent residents which had not been entirely overcome, noting the benefit of the varied travel options and the traffic calming measures in Haven Road; welcoming any new opportunity for co car and co bike rental; improved safety; public permeability of the site and with the progressive design the opportunity for increased surveillance. He noted the enhanced biodiversity net gain of 25% urban greening and the prospect of further tree planting. The views from the Quay would change, but would be protected. The Section 106 contributions could be used to improve pedestrian and cycle safety features in the locality. There had been some scepticism regarding co-living, but it was not for Members to comment on how people should live and there was a need for different types of homes. The Member would be supporting the application despite those reservations.

·      it was appropriate to give due consideration to this important decision and a Member acknowledged the comments on density and massing. The effect on local heritage, as well as residents’ comments on the application being out of keeping with the character of the area. The issues of affordability, loss of privacy, and loss of natural light and potentially trees were all a concern. He commented on the five-year supply, national planning policy framework implications and agreed with the need for a quality development whilst addressing and seeking mitigation where possible for the concerns raised by residents. The contributions to local education and health provision were helpful. The sustainable transport links would ensure the accommodation would be a good place to live. This would be a keystone application for the Water Lane development and encourage people to come to live in Exeter and enjoy the benefits of a growing city. The Member was concerned about the loss of light, but he was supportive of the application, and commended the work carried out by officers.

·      the Member was satisfied that concerns over flooding had been addressed.  She welcomed the co-living aspect and although comments had been made on the transient nature of occupants, possible isolation and loneliness, this could be an issue with any kind of accommodation. Officers had taken care and worked with the developer in a sympathetic way. The effect of loss of light for nearby residents was noted.

·      this was the first Liveable Exeter application on a brownfield site, which had imagination and utilised the space to the maximum, and was the only way to protect the countryside from development. He suggested the developers could make contact with those residents whose level of daylight was effected to discuss the likely effects.

·      the impact on existing residents and the city must be balanced. A Member welcomed the imaginative design, which would be a significant improvement to the existing site. The accommodation would deliver new homes for residents, improvements in biodiversity and Section 106 contributions for local benefit. There were concerns over the density, loss of trees and loss of light for nearby residents. The work by officers had resulted in a well considered application and the Member stated she would be supporting the application.

·      the balance of high standards needed for this very constrained site with many existing residences around it had been met.

·      this was a well designed project and a Member felt he could really visualise how this could deliver a great community. He would be voting against the application as it was the simple dynamic of whether this application was acceptable or not. He thanked officers for their hard work.

·      concern that the lack of mature trees on the site would have an effect on the future biodiversity, but further areas of planting would allow insects to thrive.

·      there was recognition of the hard work by officers in preparing the application. The use of a brownfield site for redevelopment rather than the city’s green fields was also welcomed. The Member was reassured by the conditions in respect of the flood risk, but the loss of light for neighbouring properties, density and height of the build and impact on the existing residents in the area remained a concern.

·      there had been 353 objections, with a significant number quoting very valid, but emotive rather than planning issues. The majority of the blocks were four storeys high, matching the height of the surrounding buildings along with the six story block, and the visualisation and modelling should be trusted. This proposal had created a good use of the site and co-living could offer a good opportunity for someone starting off renting. The Member hoped that the proposed landscaping would become a reality.


The recommendation was moved, seconded and CARRIED.


RESOLVED that delegation be made to the Service Lead (City Development) to grant permission subject to the completion of a legal agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) to secure development contributions the following:-


·         Sustainable Transport measures contribution £100,000.00 towards pedestrian and cycle improvements in the vicinity of the site.

·         On-site Affordable Housing at 20% for Build to Rent.

·         Contribution, in combination with other developments in the Water Lane Area, to the delivery of Strategic Flood Escape Route for Water Lane Area in a timely manner. Sum to be confirmed following options appraisal and technical design.

·         £76,448.84 – towards provision of Equipped Children’s Play Space, and Informal Youth Facilities,

·         Provision of five car club vehicles with parking spaces and charging infrastructure.

·         Provision of 6 electric hire cycles, parking and charging infrastructure.

·         Travel Plan for residents, including provision of initial period car club membership to residents.

·         £243,983.00 (£187,255.95) for GP surgeries expansion

·         £533,006.25 to Devon County Council Education towards the provision of primary school infrastructure

·         £25,250.00 towards Early Years education to ensure delivery of provision for 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds

·         Access control Improvements and additional tree planting in Piazza Terracina, £52,000.00

·         Traffic Orders

·         Management Plan (co-living)

·         Securing pedestrian rights of way though development

·         Habitats Mitigation for CIL exempt residential development.


be APPROVED, subject to the conditions and the S106 Agreement set out in the report.


Supporting documents: