New ‘urban village’ could be built in Exeter

(Site was the former home of The Range and Matalan, down by the quay, which both relocated from the site a long time ago.)

Good to see Exeter finding sites within the city boundaries – Owl

Anita Merritt

A first glimpse of what the regeneration of Exeter’s Haven Banks Retail Park could look like has now been revealed following the announcement of plans to build 440 new homes alongside retail and leisure facilities on the site. Developer Coplan Estates and joint venture partner Welbeck CP have confirmed the homes would be split between split across build-to-rent apartments and co-living studios of various sizes, and the new retail space which comprise of cafés, restaurants and local shops.

The scheme is being called Haven Banks Regeneration and is aiming to drastically change the predominantly redundant land in Water Lane and Haven Road. The city’s only bowling alley Tenpin Exeter is still based there, whereas Matalan and The Range have relocated to other premises in the city.

The public consultation is taking place from May 12 to 26 ahead of a planning application being submitted to Exeter City Council. Today, May 6, a website disclosing the plans has been launched.

It states that is proposing to build a new urban village with high-quality homes and ground-floor ‘public realm, local shops/café space, play space and new areas of green space’. The website adds that it is in discussions with Tenpin to identify an alternative site in Exeter.

The aim is to submit the planning application this summer, following the public consultation. It is hoped planning permission will be approved by the end of 2022. Construction work would then begin in the summer of 2023.

The website states: “We will begin by removing the buildings currently on the site before constructing the new blocks and associated landscaping and infrastructure. We are targeting completion of construction during 2025.”

Regarding its visions, it states: “Our ambition is for these regeneration plans to improve not just the site but connect with the riverside environment more widely and the surrounding residential areas.” It adds it is interested in hearing from the community on any ideas for incorporating public art into the development, such as murals or art installations.

Colin McQueston, head of development at Coplan Estates, said: “Our proposals aim to define a new future for the Haven Banks retail park site so that it can contribute positively to the local area. As things stand the site is no longer viable as a retail park so we’re extremely excited about re-energising it and delivering a vibrant new neighbourhood with much-needed housing and a range of new facilities and spaces for the public to enjoy. We’re putting our proposals on display to share our vision and to invite views from the community – we’d encourage anyone interested in the proposals to come along to our drop-in events and submit feedback to the consultation.”

Haven Banks Retail Park, Exeter

Haven Banks Retail Park, Exeter (Image: Google Street View)

People can find out more about the proposals and leave feedback online via a dedicated website or two drop-in public consultation events. The first will take place on Friday, May 13, from noon to 5pm. The second will be the following day on Saturday, May 14, from 10am to 3pm, at Haven Banks Outdoor Education Centre in Haven Road.

Regarding the new homes being proposed, some of them will be build-to-rent refers to purpose-built housing designed for rent rather than sale – it provides residents an affordable place to live with a distinct and desirable sense of community and modern facilities geared around community living. Build-to-rent homes are more secure (from a lease perspective) and reliable than privately rented homes, with longer tenancy options, professionally managed by reliable landlords and with lower fees.

Regeneration plans for Exeter’s Haven Banks Retail Park (Image: Coplan Estates and Welbeck CP)

Co-living is a modern form of housing where residents share living space. It offers an opportunity for younger generations in particular to embrace communal living and shared experiences. Each resident will have their own private bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, with communal areas focused around an integrated hub with shared space including flexible work and lounge space. For more details visit the Haven Banks Regeneration website by clicking here.