Monstrous Monkerton Retail Development threatens City viability

23 February 2018

Exeter Green Party have called on councillors to throw out a planning application for a giant new retail park on the edge of Exeter. Greens say the mixed-use development of retail and restaurant units with new access roads and car parking off Honiton Road is entirely out of step with Council policies on curbing car use, tackling air pollution and encouraging use of public transport, walking and cycling.

They also argue that the development would threaten the economic viability of businesses in the city centre and contravene Exeter’s Core Strategy, which states that "retail development outside the City Centre should be located in district or local centres”.

Green Party councillor, Chris Musgrave, said:

“This monstrous proposal would increase car trips and add to Exeter’s already severe congestion and air pollution problems. How ironic that this application comes to councillors just as Exeter City Council begin a consultation on measures to tackle the city’s chronic air pollution. In this they paint a vision of a city where ‘the private car is seldom used’ and ‘development creates sustainable car-free communities’.

“It is clear that this development would completely undermine these aspirations. Even the Council’s own Environmental Health department have pointed out that this development can only increase the already dangerously high and illegal levels of pollution along the Honiton/Heavitree Road corridor. Labour councillors must have the courage to kick this application out.”

Greens says that a thriving city centre is essential to Exeter’s prosperity and to the quality of life of its residents and workers. Diana Moore, candidate in St David’s ward, said:

“This development goes entirely against the Monkerton and Hill Barton Master plan and current policies that seek to retain retail interest within the city centre. We need to end out-of-town developments of this nature and focus instead on supporting small scale local shops and making our city centre sustainable. That is why we are pushing for a covered market square to create a distinctive city centre that supports small businesses and celebrates the city’s diversity. We know from our own surveying that this idea is very popular with local residents.”