Plans to redevelop Exeter’s Bus and Coach Station have received overwelming public support.
The vast majority – 95% – of those who responded to a public consultation were in favour of redeveloping the ageing facility in Paris Street, Exeter.
Members of Exeter City Council’s Scrutiny Economy Committee will on May 31 be asked to back a slightly revised set of principles to guide future development of the site.
It is anticipated that a planning application for the development of the site will be submitted during the year. Development is likely to be phased, with first phases completing in 2015.
More than 200 people responded to the Exeter City Council’s Development Principles document over a six-week period of consultation during March and April. Two roadshow events were held in Exeter and there were static displays at the Civic Centre. The draft Development Principles document was made available on the website and the consultation was advertised in the Exeter Citizen newspaper, which is delivered to all households and businesses in the city.
Ninety-five per cent of those who returned a questionnaire supported the redevelopment of the site. There was 91% support for the principles, with 29% agreeing with all the principles and 62% agreeing with most of them.
People were asked to say which they thought were the most important principles, with Principle 1 (replacement bus station) being selected by 57%.
Cllr Rachel Sutton, Lead Councillor for Sustainable Development and Transport, said: “We were keen to get a feel for what people wanted to do with the site and whilst some of the principles weren’t favoured by everybody, we feel that the responses are an endorsement of the principles as a whole.
“It’s early days for what is a major exercise to regenerate this key part of the city in line with improvements to the city centre and Sidwell Street.
The current Bus and Coach Station was built in 1963 and has become rather tired and dated and the long term plan is to smarten the area up and provide a mixed-use development including a new station.
The site is defined by Sidwell Street, Paris Street and Cheeke Street and includes an area currently used as a bus depot. If an alternative location can be found for the bus depot, this part of the site would be key to the redevelopment.
The revised development principles set out below will help when dealing with any planning applications for the site:
A Development must be viable
B Development must reinforce Sidwell Street, complement the High Street and Princesshay and form a gateway to the city centre.
C The development will be a retail and leisure led mixed use development incorporating a new bus station.
D Development must positively respond to contaxt including the grain of city, archaeology and site levels.
E Development must create a high quality public realm with active frontages.
F Development must create a network of accessible open streets and spaces.
G Building must be individual and of high architectural quality, with landmark buildings and gateways formed at key locations using materials appropriate to the location.
H Vehicular traffic, servicing and car parking must be accommodated in such way as to minimise their impact.
I An accessible new bus station must be provided to agreed standards.
J The development must adopt high standards of sustainable design and enhance biodiversity.