Cllr Diana Moore, the Green Party councillor for St David’s ward which includes the city centre, has welcomed a request to the Secretary of State to call in the Co-Living development on the Harlequins site. The Planning Committee, dominated by members of Labour’s ruling Executive, granted planning permission for the 251-bedspace accommodation block in October. The development also includes plans for a hotel, bar and restaurant. The request for a call in has been made by amenity and heritage groups and local residents.
Commenting, Cllr Diana Moore said:
"I am not surprised that Heritage groups are seeking to have this development ‘called in’ for a review by the Secretary of State. It was shocking to see this application granted permission, despite the plans riding roughshod over the council’s own conservation policies in this historic area of Exeter.
"The scheme also disregards the council's own minimum living space standards which were established to ensure decent housing conditions. Neither does this Co-Living experiment meet the Council’s affordable housing requirements.
"Exeter desperately needs decent long term and genuinely affordable homes to rent, especially for single and young people, but this is such a poorly designed scheme. All now hinges on the Secretary of State to recognise the importance of Exeter’s heritage and the rights of people to decent and genuinely affordable housing. He should call in this development."
Exeter City Council has agreed to withhold issuing the decision notice on the Co-Living planning application until the Secretary of State has completed his consideration of the call-in request.