Exeter Green Party are calling for future developments to be properly based on Garden City Principles which include genuinely affordable housing, improving the natural environment and increasing biodiversity, adopting zero-carbon technologies, and having strong cultural, recreational and shopping facilities within walking distance.
The detailed response by the Greens to an Exeter City Council consultation on the new Local Plan also calls for every area of the city to have a neighbourhood plan.
While not rejecting future development in the city, the Green Party also challenges future growth in Exeter, pointing to the limited land area available and that the city is ‘nearing or at the limits of growth within its current physical and ecological boundaries.’
Green City councillor, Amy Sparling, said:
“The priority of the new Local Plan must be to create and enhance a network of local neighbourhoods with strong local identity and economic opportunities - rather than forcing people into the city centre or to out of town retail sites. We need to reduce the need to travel and create communities that promote health and wellbeing, which will include a focus on safe, active travel and eliminating the dominance of the private car. It is also vital that the plan meets current and projected affordable housing needs.”
Greens say the statement on climate change in the Local Plan is ‘wholly inadequate.’ Green City councillor, Diana Moore, said:
“Planning is one of the city’s key mechanisms for managing and reducing carbon emissions. Tackling the climate emergency must therefore frame the whole Local Plan. It cannot be something that’s just bolted on.
“New developments must be net zero from the start and not have to be retrofitted in a few years time. It must also make clear that all developments must have a positive impact on nature and communities, for example, low traffic neighbourhoods, green spaces and good community facilities.”
Find out more about why the Local Plan is so important