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Health & wellbeing contributions

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2 months ago

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Section 13: Health and wellbeing It is now well-established since covid that living near an accessible waterway has multiple long-term physical and mental health and wellbeing benefits. Both research and anecdotal evidence support this. It is strategically important that the particular boosts of visits to the waterway should be recognised among the other health-promoting strategies of the 2040 Plan. Being active on the water or along the waterside, walking, running, cycling, angling, canoeing, paddleboarding and active volunteering – with family, a dog or on one’s own – these are key and should be protected and supported. Flat towpaths make them ideal for people with mobility problems. The heritage harbour legacy and long-term active regeneration of the Canal and Basin are beneficial in terms of health and wellbeing to the lives and engagement Exeter citizens at large. Their benefit will be significantly compromised if the canal loses its capacity to bring new and varied life to its operations and activities and becomes, increasingly, an inert strip of water, a linear lake. Water based activities are now available on prescription in many places to address social, emotional and health needs. There are potential savings to the NHS and social care budgets, plus the value to personal levels of activity and fitness. It also brings opportunities for innovation and research into benefits of active access to water, perhaps at a dedicated clinic. Health and wellbeing, 3.4-3.12 & Strategic policy HW1 All the above have a key role, dependent on the canal, in the health and wellbeing of residents. It is therefore suggested an additional paragraph should be added to ‘Health and wellbeing’ to stipulate that development should do nothing to compromise these benefits. Strategically, a developer unable to promote health and wellbeing could be able to make contributions to the upkeep of the canal towpaths and visitor facilities and infrastructure. It would be open to a developer also to contribute by encouraging volunteering on the waterway among its workforce in conjunction with a group such as the Friends of Exeter Ship Canal.

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3 months ago

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Prioritising active travel: making it a reality: There are many good references to prioritising active travel. We welcome this. However, there are occasional references that imply active travel won’t be prioritised but will instead be ‘worked around’ the real priority of cars. For example, para 13.10, suggests that active travel will be prioritised but “away from main traffic routes”. Walking and cycling away from car-routes is good, but should not be at the expense of building direct safe walking and cycling routes along the main routes that people need to travel. Cycling is real transport and is ‘traffic’ too. For example, main traffic routes like the Topsham Road and Pinhoe Road are the most direct, flattest (and widest) roads which would be a chosen route for people cycling. Both ECC and DCC should not shy from building safe active travel into these routes. Proposal: improve the Exeter Plan by making clear that safe active travel will be considered on main ’traffic’ routes in Exeter. Children: When referring to play areas the Exeter Plan states that “We want our children to be active in a safe environment” (14.27). This is good. However, it doesn’t explicitly state that we want the whole of our built environment (and highways) to be safe enough for children to live and move independently and safely. When they were last asked, the children of Exeter responded that the dominance of cars was a major concern for them. Proposal: make explicit in the Exeter Plan that to achieve the strategic goal of higher activity levels for all, the city will seek to ensure all new and existing developments (and support DCC in ensuring that highways) are made safe enough for children to move independently in the city. This should be assessed using the Healthy Streets indicators (https://www.healthystreets.com/what-is-healthy-streets)

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3 months ago

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See comments submitted on behalf of Bloor

Why do you feel this way and do you have any other comments?

See comments submitted on behalf of Bloor

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3 months ago

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See comments submitted on behalf of Broom

Why do you feel this way and do you have any other comments?

See comments submitted on behalf of Broom

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3 months ago

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The policy states that ‘Developments will make financial payments towards improved health infrastructure commensurate with any additional demand placed on the existing provision.’ This requirement will need to meet the tests of planning obligations and requests well evidenced. Consideration needs to be given to the viability of developments because of these requirements and others in the plan. Large scale developments need to be defined within the Plan, with reference to policy and others within the Plan.

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Noted. Whilst policy HW2, which states that development proposals will only be permitted where they ‘will not place unreasonable restrictions on the future operation of existing businesses’, is noted, the implementation of this policy is likely to have implications for housing delivery on mixed use allocations. As such, these figures cannot be relied upon while, at this stage, the impacts on the future operation of existing businesses are unknown. This must be addressed through the allocation of additional sites to ensure the housing requirement for Exeter is met.

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