8 September 2020
A petition signed by over 4200 people online, including 2081 Exeter residents, to ‘stop developers destroying Historic Exeter’ has made Councillors “sit up and listen”, claim its organisers. The petition was presented to the Exeter City Council planning committee on 7th September by Green Councillor Diana Moore.
The petition demands that Exeter City Council put on hold any significant new developments that affect heritage sites as well as those not governed by existing policy or for which the Council has not conducted a needs assessment. It also calls for research and policies into how to better protect Exeter’s heritage and environment .
The St David’s ward Councillor, Diana Moore, who presented the petition on behalf of Exeter residents said:
“Achieving 4000 signatures is a significant achievement and demonstrates the strength of feeling on how thoughtless development is damaging our great city but not providing the homes we need to meet community needs. This initiative, led by local people, sends a message loud and clear that residents want to be bought into the planning system and are prepared to engage with the future of the city.
“There is a growing feeling among Exeter residents that development isn’t benefiting people who live in the city or creating thriving communities. At a time when there is so much talk about building back better and the need to create a zero carbon city by 2030, let’s seize this moment to update planning policy and provide real opportunities for local residents to contribute their local knowledge.”
Daniel Rudham, a resident who backed the petition, said:
“We are seeing many new buildings, particularly high-rise ones, which show little respect for historic Exeter or don’t demonstrably meet local housing needs. The thousands who have signed the petition say: stop; listen to the people who live and work here. The council must make sure that there are planning rules to ensure Exeter develops in ways which protects our heritage and environment and addresses the needs of local people.
“It’s clear that the council lacks the resources and policies to deal with the threat of international developers taking advantage. But they need to make proper use of the powers they do have to ensure architecturally imaginative buildings worthy of a historically important city are built.”
The petition presented to the Council in July qualified for discussion by full Council, as it was signed by more than 2000 residents living in the EX1-4 areas, but was referred to the planning committee. Planning Committee members agreed to report back to full Council and the petitioner with a summary of the debate.
 Planning Committee report on the Petition: Save Our Historic Exeter http://committees.exeter.gov.uk/documents/s75174/Petition%20Report.pdf
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