#SWExeter Masterplan

The Comment section of the print edition of Express & Echo this week has an interesting article by Juliet Meadowcroft, Chair of Alphington Village Forum, New homes will destroy landscape. [Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear anywhere on E&E website!, but it is on Alphington Village Forum page].

E&E Comment | New homes will destroy landscape
E&E Comment | New homes will destroy landscape

Juliet’s Comment piece was written in response to an earlier E&E news item, New ‘city village’ will bring traffic chaos, says councillor [E&E Print edition, 04 June 2015], quoting Cllr Alan Connett.

In her article, Juliet makes reference to the LDA Design Masterplan for SW Exeter, a lengthy document published in 2012 whose purpose is to provide a framework to guide the future development of a sustainable urban extension to the south west of the City.

Juliet points out that the original masterplan showed “plenty of green space being left to the north of A379, including space for a primary school, but this has now all been changed”

SW Exeter Masterplan showing green
SW Exeter Masterplan showing green space on boundary between Exeter City Council and Teignbridge District Council areas

But that’s the problem with ALL masterplanning exercises – it’s a virtual jigsaw puzzle to show what could happen, rather than what would (or will) happen!

It’s a point made in the SW Exeter Masterplan itself:

7.0 Illustrative Masterplan
The illustrative masterplan is a tool to communicate how the application of the masterplan study could shape development in the growth area; it is not a detailed layout that responds to every aspect of the growth area in detail – it is simply to give an impression of how the area could be when developed. It shows one possible outcome of the application of the framework plans – other outcomes may be equally valid provided that the fundamental framework principles are adhered to.

As parts of the growth area come forward for development, individual masterplans or framework plans will need to be produced, reflecting the principles set out by the framework plans. As development is designed and takes place it will inevitably  evolve from that illustrated here to reflect the requirements, best practice, and market forces of the time. However, as long as development is guided by the masterplan frameworks, it should most importantly be deliverable and produce a sustainable and successful urban extentson.

Since the SW Masterplan was published [in 2011], more work has been carried out resulting in 2 documents published in 2014:
ECC – SW Alphington Development Brief; and
TDC – SW Exeter Development Framework
and these will plot the course of future development of SW Exeter.

One of the most serious aspects of development for SW Exeter revolves around transport issues.

Section 2.9 looks at current access and movement through SW Exeter, while Section 6.2 looks at the future access and movement framework.

While 6.2 sets out what is needed, the proposals were set out in less austere times, and there was the hope that there would be no problem in funding these requirements. My fear is that under the current funding regime, although the need is the same, the required funds will not be forthcoming.