18 January 2016
Exeter Green Party is urging councillors to reject outline planning permission for the redevelopment of the bus station site, saying the plans are a bad deal for Exeter. Councillors are due to decide whether to grant outline planning permission at an extraordinary council meeting on Wednesday.
Greens are demanding that any deal must include a developer contribution towards a new bus and coach station. It was recently revealed that the current developer, The Crown Estate, has pulled out of funding a new public transport hub for the city. Greens also say that the bus station must include facilities for intercity coaches which, under current plans, would be required to use a side street.
Green Party spokesperson, Diana Moore, said:
“The current proposals fall well short of the City Council’s own redevelopment principles for an ‘enhanced’ bus and coach station issued in 2012. We need a state-of-the-art bus and coach station, large enough to accommodate growth in bus services as the city grows over the next 20 years. We must see a big shift to public transport to urgently address air pollution, congestion and carbon emissions in the city. A financial contribution must be made by the developer towards a new bus and coach station, rather than the £6m bill being picked up by Exeter.”
Greens are also critical of the proposed retail and leisure mix. Mark Shorto, Chair of Exeter Green Party, said:
“In principle we support proposals for a new swimming pool in a city centre location but we don’t need another cinema. We believe this is a great opportunity for a new ‘Best of Devon’ market square to support small businesses and celebrate the distinctiveness and diversity of our region. This would showcase the best that Devon has to offer in local foods, artisan crafts as well as highlight Exeter’s multiculturalism and diversity. It would also provide a great new home for Exeter’s popular Farmers market, enabling this to expand and offer a wider range of produce.”
Greens say they hope councillors will have the courage to vote against the current development proposals, being recommended for approval by council officers. Diana Moore said:
“The development of the bus station site must prioritise people’s needs, not the financial interests of developers. We want the council to refuse this application in order to further consider what will best serve the people of Exeter and comeback with a greatly improved proposal.”
The Special Meeting of the Council will take place on 20th January at 6pm at the Guildhall, High Street. The Public can attend.
The planning application informaiton, report to council and objections (summarised) can be seen here:
Exeter Green Party planning objection https://exeter.greenparty.org.uk/news/2015/12/10/bus-station/
Letter to Leader of Exeter City council Cllr Pete Edwards https://exeter.greenparty.org.uk/news/2015/12/17/bus-deal-breaker/
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