5,000 homes and new schools vision for Marsh Barton

In a parallel universe might some of these have been dumped on greenfield sites in East Devon? – Owl

Daniel Clark www.devonlive.com 

Councillors are being asked to back plans for work on assessing the feasibility of plans for around 5,000 homes to be provided in Marsh Barton.

As part of the Liveable Exeter programme, Exeter City Council are aiming to deliver up to 12,000 new homes in inclusive and sustainable communities in order to meet the forecast housing need of the city into the future.

As part of the Liveable Exeter vision, Marsh Barton offers the largest opportunity within the Liveable Exeter programme to deliver a significant number of new homes as part of a mixed use community.

It has the potential to become more than just a dormitory suburb and become a new town within the city, building on Garden Community principles with scope to deliver up to 5,000 new homes as part of a mixed use community.

Grant funding totalling £625,000 has recently been secured to progress work related to the Liveable Exeter programme and fund the Liveable Exeter programme team, and Exeter City Council’s executive, when they meet next Tuesday, are recommended to approve the budget to progress work related to the Liveable Exeter programme, and for the creation of two new, fixed-term posts as part of the team.

The work will consider how to unlock the redevelopment of this part of the city to deliver a new mixed-use city quarter.

As part of the vision for the scheme, ‘mobility hubs, linear parks and digital connectivity will all take the place of expanding car parks and roads and offer the opportunity to create a ground-breaking development anchored around a comprehensive and sustainable urban mobility network’.

The future Marsh Barton will connect with Water Lane and the City Centre, to become a super-connected place which builds on existing under-utilised and redundant infrastructure to deliver world-class sustainable and active travel opportunities.

The plans could see around 5,000 homes built, mainly in flats, remain 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, as well as new work space, and community space and school sites.

Richard Marsh, Liveable Exeter programme director and interim city development lead, in his report to the executive, said: “The Liveable Exeter programme is the council’s transformational housing delivery programme. It seeks to deliver up to 12,000 new homes in a series of new inclusive and sustainable communities, focused on major brownfield development sites within the city.

“This way of working marks a distinct change to previous growth strategies which sought to meet housing growth demands within the Greater Exeter area through greenfield development and is consistent with the council’s focus on achieving the net-zero targets and delivering on the Exeter 2040 Vision.”

He added: “Having a good understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with the long-term redevelopment of the Marsh Barton area will also mean that the city council, and its partners’, are in a good position to be able to develop and evidence bids and business cases to support applications for government grant funding and infrastructure investment – likely to be required in order to unlock a strategic project of this scale, complexity and nature.

“It also allows the city council and its partners to act in a coordinated and strategic manner in order to realise shared objectives. An important element of the work will also involve considering how public sector land ownerships within the vicinity of Marsh Barton can be consolidated, rationalised or relocated in order to accelerate the timely release of public sector land assets within the area – in line with the Liveable Exeter Vision.”

The executive is recommended to note and then for the full council to approve the successful application for, and receipt of, Garden Communities capacity funding to support the Liveable Exeter programme and approves a budget of up to £475,000, to be funded by an earmarked reserve, to progress work related to the Liveable Exeter programme.

They are also recommended to note the successful application for, and grant of, One Public Estate funding to support the progression of feasibility and technical work on Marsh Barton in line with the Liveable Exeter vision and approves a budget of up to £150,000, to be funded by claims to Devon County Council as lead partner , in order to progress the work, and the creation of two new, fixed-term posts within the Liveable Exeter team to be funded utilising a proportion of the Garden Communities capacity funding.

Eight sites across Exeter are mentioned as part of the Liveable Exeter vision, including the Marsh Barton plans.

They are:

1: Red Cow Village (St David’s) – 664 homes in a new neighbourhood based around the historic Red Cow Village near Exeter St David’s railway station. It will provide a strong sense of arrival benefits Exeter’s identity, status and culture, a new neighbourhood, including new work space, and use of under-utilised station buildings, as well as space for shops and leisure, work space, and a new Exeter St David’s station building and the refurbishment of Great Western Hotel

2: Water Lane – The Water Lane project can deliver a new community at the scale of a new town close to the city centre, as the riverside site has the potential to become home to around 14,000 people. The vision for Water Lane is as an enterprising, self-sustaining community, a place to work as well as to live close to the city’s best loved assets. This will be a walkable place where day to day needs can be met without the use of a car. The plans could see 1,567 homes, a space for expanding leisure attractions near the quay, with low traffic or car-free development with attractive cycle and walking connections, shops and leisure, work space, as well as other community space and a primary school,

3: Marsh Barton – Marsh Barton offers the largest opportunity within the Liveable Exeter programme to deliver a significant number of new homes as part of a mixed use community, with the potential to become more

than just a dormitory suburb and become a new town within the city, building on Garden Community principles with scope to deliver up to 5,000 new homes as part of a mixed use community.

Mobility hubs, linear parks and digital connectivity will all take the place of expanding car parks and roads and offer the opportunity to create a ground-breaking development anchored around a comprehensive and sustainable urban mobility network, and the future Marsh Barton will connect with Water Lane and the City Centre, to become a super-connected place which builds on existing under-utilised and redundant infrastructure to deliver world-class sustainable and active travel opportunities.

The plans will see 5,544 homes, remain 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, as well as new work space, and community space and school sites.

4: East Gate – The plans for East Gate would provide Exeter with an enhanced approach to the City Centre from the east, reducing traffic on the Heavitree Road and allowing for improved public transport and walking and cycling routes, the East Gate development is an exciting opportunity for communities in St Leonards and Newtown.

It would include 962 new homes, shops and leisure units, including the new St Sidwell’s Point leisure centre, work space, including a relocated Civic Centre, and community space.

5: West Gate – The plans for West Gate would open up access to the river and canal from the city centre and will provide Exeter with a new cultural destination on the river. It will expand and connect the park at the heart of the city around the historic bridge and promote active travel across the river with an iconic and Green Bridge over the River Exe at Exe Bridges.

It would include 617 new homes, shops and leisure units, work space, a cultural venue on the river, and a new St Thomas railway station entrance.

6: South Gate – The South Gate site will establish an improved link between the city centre and the historic quayside, giving greater emphasis to the Roman wall, city gates and Southernhay, linking from Southernhay to the quay. This development will provide Exeter with a new arrival to the city centre from Topsham Road.

The plans include 300 new homes, a greater emphasis on the wall, city gates and Southernhay, retail and leisure units, work space, and retained car parking at Cathedral and Quay

7: North Gate – Uncovering the medieval city wall between Friernhay and Northernhay Gardens, the North Gate site will provide a new approach to the city from Saint David’s along with new residential space in the heart of the city.

It includes 308 new homes, a new living opportunity at density in the heart of the city, retail and leisure space, and car parking retained at Mary Arches, with the scheme assumes ground floor commercial with residential above

8: Sandy Gate – The plans would see 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.

As well as homes, would include shops, leisure, work space, and space for sports and education provision.