1,250 new student apartments in Exeter approved

High density to replace existing premises (ECC / LDRS planning application) May 2021

They will replace existing housing on campus

Plans for an additional 1,250 student apartments on the University of Exeter campus have been approved.

The development of the village residences of Clydesdale, Nash and Birks Grange off Stocker Road has been overwhelmingly supported by the Exeter City Council planning committee.

Councilors approved the planning officers’ recommendation for approval, saying purpose-built housing on the college campus was the best way to reverse the trend of student occupancy of family homes.

Supporting the plans, Cllr Rachel Sutton said it was for the redevelopment of part of the campus that already accommodates students. She added: “Yes it is at a higher density, but I am quite sure there are residents in other parts of town who will welcome it because it means housing currently occupied by students revert to occupation by families.

Cllr Ruth Williams added: “The only way to turn the tide is to build more purpose-built student housing, so we have to recognize that if we are to end the loss of family homes in Exeter it is what we need to do to provide purpose built housing. student accommodation. “

But Cllr Michael Mitchell expressed concern about the density of buildings, the scale of the current proposals and their impact on residents. He added: “This is a massive increase in the floor space and the number of students in the region and up to 1,200 additional beds, on top of what already exists on site. I am not convinced that for local residents this would not be overwhelming and blackout and it needs to be reduced to get my support.

The outlines of the proposals were approved by 10 votes to 1, although councilors called for further discussions on the impact of light pollution.

Planning officials said: “Given the recent number of student housing projects submitted at off-campus sites, the proposal for such a large number of beds in a sustainable location on campus should be welcomed. It is accepted that the proposed development quantum is substantial, however, the parameter plans are considered to effectively limit the level of development to an acceptable scale.

“The building heights proposed to accommodate this would have a considerable impact on the character and appearance of the area, however, it is an accepted planning practice that when development is considered acceptable in principle, the most use. effective terrain must be sought.

“Furthermore, the Passivhaus approach to the project is to be welcomed and accepted, in some cases it will dictate the orientation, form and design of the resulting buildings.”

The application will see:

  • Demolition of existing two- and three-story buildings at Clydesdale and Nash Halls and replaced with new student accommodation ranging in height from three to eight stories. These buildings will include ancillary services such as shops, ground floor cafes and yard landscaping with associated hard and soft landscaping.
  • The demolition of the existing service center and the replacement with student accommodation buildings varying in height from three to four floors, with a replacement of the estates service centers which will be located in the northeastern part of the university campus
  • The demolition of the existing dining hall building at Birks Grange and the construction of a new six-story student accommodation building, with social and amenity spaces on the ground floor.
  • Renovation of the existing AE accommodation block at Birks Grange to reach equivalent Passivhaus standards to include external modifications to the walls, windows and roof to include solar panels The demolition of the refectory removes the dining rooms from this part of the campus, resulting in the need for new kitchens in each apartment and therefore reducing the total number of units.

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John McTaggart

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