Planning Application 16/1515/03 | First & Last

I would like to make a formal objection to Planning Application 16/1515/03 – Variation of condition 2 of Planning Application 14/4821/03 for revised plans showing removal of planted gable wall and replace with rendered finish, to match render used on refurbished building.


This new planning application seems to have originated when I asked what enforcement action Exeter City Council would be taking in relation to non-compliance with Condition 2 of the original planning decision [14/4821/03]

This condition only permitted development in strict accordance with the submitted details received by the Local Planning Authority on 16 December2014 (dwg. no’s 0084_FIR_PL_1.9; 2.0 (rev B); 2.1; 2.2; 3.0; 3.1; 3.2; 4.0; 4.1), as modified by other conditions of this consent.

In particular, dwg 0084_FIR_PL_3.2 was very clear that the proposed south gable elevation would be planted with sedum.

DWG 0084_FIR_PL_3.2

I also note that Condition 3 stated ”Notwithstanding condition 2, details of all external materials to be used in the proposed new dwelling shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority and the

development shall not be started before their approval is obtained in writing and the materials used in the construction of the development shall correspond with the approved details in all respects.”

Once planning permission was granted the initial applicant sold the site with planning approved, yet I can only conclude that the new developer did not carry out this condition as I am sure that the Local Planning Authority would have given approval for either the green felt pockets or the plastic flowers that appeared on this gable end.



I made a submission to the original planning application, noting the bus – often congested – nature of the junction at the First & Last and would have liked the development to have been car-free. I had also hoped that Devon County Council might have negotiated some s106 monies to improve traffic flow here. Neither of this suggestions were adopted.

However, I was grateful that the original architects had endeavoured to introduce some biodiversity in to this highly urbanised environment and perhaps go some way to contribute to mitigating the air pollution locally.

In addition, such a planted gable end, if installed well with durable natural planting and an appropriate growing medium,  would have added visual interest to this junction of the city

The new planning application form suggests that the developer is asking for a  variation due to the onerous nature of maintaining such a planted wall.


Yet I have seen from sites on-line there are various low maintenance solutions to installing a green wall that would work with an irrigation system/programme.

As I understand it, a green wall can be installed on many walls that have an appropriate waterproofing measure for irrigation.  Maintenance is fairly modest, particularly if using a sedum but obviously more onerous than a painted render wall.  The south facing nature of the wall at the First & Last makes it well suited to healthy growth, although taking some time for the installation to mature.

I would like to think that it would be a missed opportunity to substitute planting a sedum on this gable elevation with a blank render façade.

In addition I note that the Design Statement that accompanied the original planning application made mention of the sustainability of this location

This proposal is inherently sustainable by virtue of its location. It also makes use of an existing vacant building in a city centre location.

The location is within walking distance of Exeter City Centre and local amenities in the St. Thomas district. Cycle routes connect the site with the city centre and routes out of the city.

The new build dwelling will be built to at least the thermal performance required within Building Regulations and the existing dwelling will

The existing building will have all windows and glazed doors upgraded to double glazing and loft insulation will be introduced throughout. These measures, together with an entrance lobby will help to control the internal climate and keep heating demand for the building to a minimum.

The spatial planning of the dwellings has been developed in order to maximise natural lighting. This will reduce the need for artificial lighting and therefore energy demands for the properties.

The dwellings will be served by a district heating supply, served from the basement of the new build dwelling, accessed via the shared garden.

Dwellings will be fitted with low energy lighting throughout and A++ rated appliances will be installed. Low flow taps will help to reduce water consumption and all apartments are designed to accommodate showers.

A cycle store is provided with space for 6 bikes.

I trust that the completed development reflected these aims?


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