The University of Exeter has applied for planning permission to put an industrial yard on its Streatham campus which will adjoin the Duryard Valley Nature Reserve, the Exeter Community Garden and the Hoopern Valley part of the Exeter Green Circle.
The area forms part of an important wildlife corridor, which will be destroyed, along with the peace of the area which is enjoyed by local residents, garden users and many walkers.
The proposed new Estates Services Centre will be located between Belvidere Road and the footpath of the Exeter Green Circle which runs alongside the Community Garden.
It will be open 7 days a week from 7.30am, replacing the sound of birdsong with the noise of tractors, HGVs, forklift trucks, jet washing, repair workshops and shredding machines. The site will be surrounded by a security fence and illuminated by security lighting.
Full details here.
The proposed development contradicts the Exeter Local Plan which designates the area as part of Policy LS1: ‘Development in these areas will not be permitted unless it maintains local distinctiveness and character’ and ‘Development which would harm the landscape setting of the city will not be permitted’.
The University’s own Master Plan Framework confirms that ‘any future development proposals in that part of the area lying east of the reservoir are subject to Policy LS1’. This is therefore a protected site and Policy LS1 precludes development of any nature unless it can be shown to be concerned with the purposes of agriculture, forestry, the rural economy or outdoor recreation.
The use of the site for an industrial yard is thus completely inappropriate.
It is to be hoped that the City Council recognises this when the proposal goes before the Planning Committee.