A milestone application to deliver Haven Banks rejuvenation delivering to the principles of the Liveable Exeter was approved today.
Asked for his thoughts on the Haven Bank development Phil Bialyk, Labour Leader of Exeter City Council, said:
“There’s been a plan to rejuvenate Water Lane for as long as I can remember and walking around the area now, as I often do,I can see why. Most of the industry has long gone, including the old gas works of course. More recently, the meat rendering factory.
What’s left is derelict and contaminated land, which isn’t right for a modern and successful city like Exeter. Water Lane is ready for change.
Within the Haven Road and Water Lane area is a strong and close knit community and the people who here deserve better. This site in particular, is outmoded and obsolete. All that’s left is the bowling alley (which I understand is looking to move out) and a half empty car park. It’s not a place I feel safe in, especially at night.
In contrast, directly opposite the site we have the Quay, a jewel in Exeter’s crown and one of my favourite places to visit.
The quay is a vibrant waterfront community, an urban village if you like, and a great place to live and work. No surprise then that over the past 20 years many new homes have been built and are very popular. Hopefully there are many more to come.
More information on the website www.liveableexeter.co.uk
On the approved planning application he said:
“Choosing to invest in Water Lane and contribute to the next phase of its regeneration, is a massive vote of confidence in our city.
This central location has good links to the rest of the city, this is where we should be providing more homes and it makes sense to be building at higher densities, encouraging walking and cycling, not wasting space on large car parks or private gardens and providing accommodation for people who want to call Exeter home.
There is a good mix of accommodation, including Co-living studios. I`ve heard much talk and debate about Co-living and by the way, this isn’t student housing by another name, as some would have you believe. They are still homes and I prefer to think of them as ‘City Living’ accommodation.
I have looked at the plans and I could see this will provide good living conditions for young professional people who don’t necessary want to or can afford to live in standard apartments, even if they were available. Also for people living in the city for a short time on contracts or placements, certainly something I would have loved to have rented at different times in the past.
This is a type of accommodation in high demand, and suited to a particular time of life.
Of course the majority of homes in the scheme are Build to Rent apartments, something we’ve not had in the city before and we’ve been wanting to attract. There are a lot of people in the city who are unable to buy their own home, but also don’t qualify for social housing. This will provide another option to access quality homes with without the need to buy.
This proposal reminded me of the Wapping Wharf development in Bristol, which I visited recently along with members of the Planning Committee. This will be another high quality scheme and the kind of development I want to see in Exeter.
I am really pleased it was approved. I can see many of the key principles and ideas of liveable Exeter coming to life in this scheme and this fills me with hope for the future.”
We know that during the transition the change of uses will challenge the local communities, but we also know that well designed brownfield developments are the only way we have a future Exeter that is still surrounded by greenfields.