Work to replace dated Exeter homes to start next year

With 92 new apartments built to Passivhaus standard.

There is a Passivhaus development in Seaton, are there any more in East Devon? – Owl

Anita Merritt www.devonlive.com

Next stage plans have been revealed for dated homes awaiting demolition in Exeter which have become an eyesore in the local area and have been targetted by intruders causing criminal damage.

In February 2020, plans were approved to replace the existing buildings of Whipton Barton House in Vaughan Road, Whipton, with 92 new apartments built to Passivhaus standard.

The new development – created by Exeter City Council-owned development company Exeter City Living – will be called The Gardens. Out of the new homes being built, 60 of the new homes will be affordable and retained as new Council housing, and 32 homes will be for market rent.

The apartments would be arranged in three and four-storey blocks around the perimeter of the site, with a communal garden and play area at its centre.

However, work is yet to commence on the new environmentally-friendly housing project which is currently surrounded by hoardings to keep the site secure.

Repairs to the hoardings were scheduled for installation last month. A main contractor will then start the construction of the new building in spring 2022.

Work is yet to begin at new housing development The Gardens in Vaughan Road, Exeter

Work is yet to begin at new housing development The Gardens in Vaughan Road, Exeter (Image: Exeter City Council)

A number of incidences of anti-social behaviour have been reported at the site, including trespassing and criminal damage.

Exeter City Living has stated on its website: “As a building site it presents a number of potential dangers, and we do not wish for anyone to get hurt.

“While we are keeping the site as secure as we can, any help from the community in identifying intruders will help to keep people safe and assist the police dealing with the situation.”

In the meantime, in a bid to improve the look of the site, colourful artwork has been created on the hoardings during workshops with artist Stuart Crewes, funded by Exeter City Living.

More than 50 pupils from Whipton Barton School and Willowbrook School, plus families at the Beacon Community Centre, participated in the workshops, drawing inspiration from nature and the built environment, and by thinking about what makes a vibrant and healthy place to live.

Cllr Ruth Williams, lead councillor for supporting people, who helped with the coordination of the community artwork, said: “These beautiful artworks are the culmination of a series of workshops with the artist and local community, and the result is fantastic.

Pupils from Whipton Barton School and Willowbrook School have helped to created artwork on the hoardings of The Gardens development site

Pupils from Whipton Barton School and Willowbrook School have helped to created artwork on the hoardings of The Gardens development site (Image: Exeter City Council)

“I know that the people of Whipton will enjoy the artwork and it will be there at the front of this wonderful development, where we will have 92 homes for local people, including 60 council socially-rented homes, and I so happy to see this.”

The site has previously been used to provide single-storey sheltered housing facilities.

The development is part of the council’s wider plans to create 500 new Passivhaus Council homes in Exeter over the next five years.

The Gardens in Vaughan Road, Exeter

The Gardens in Vaughan Road, Exeter (Image: Exeter City Council)

The homes are created to be healthier and more comfortable; where heat regulation costs are reduced and where climate emergency and fuel poverty are tackled head on.

The development will feature a biodiverse green space, built with community in mind. Private gardens, electric car club, electric vehicle hook ups and extensive cycle parking have also been included in the design of the development.

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