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North Gate: Site reference 42

North Gate is a large strategic site proposed for allocation in the Exeter Plan located in the heart of the city centre. The site is brownfield and currently contains a variety of uses including retail units, restaurants, cafes and takeaways, small scale commercial uses, a public car park, leisure uses and a number of important historic buildings.

The regeneration of North Gate presents an opportunity to enhance the vitality and viability of this central area and deliver high quality new development that improves the attractiveness of the city centre. The site is well served by public transport and has great potential to deliver a high density, low carbon, low-car neighbourhood.

Development will need to retain the Guildhall Shopping Centre and respond to challenges such as respecting the setting of listed buildings and enhancing the conservation area, addressing surface water flood risk and respecting the amenity of existing residents.

Further work will be required to consider the delivery of North Gate. Consultation with the local community will be required before the submission of planning applications.  

North Gate site map

North Gate – Reference 42 (Strategic policy)

A site of 5 hectares at North Gate is identified for a mixed-use development delivering approximately 200 homes and provision for employment, retail and commercial uses creating an impressive and memorable city centre gateway. The development must support the achievement of net zero and accord with the Liveable Exeter Principles, incorporating the highest standards of design and contributing to the vitality and viability of the city centre.

The following will be required:  

A. A housing mix built to optimal densities taking account of local context and the Exeter Density Study which meets a wide range of housing needs including:  

  1. 35% affordable homes for eligible households with a local connection or key workers, of which 50% will be for social rent, 13% for affordable rent, 25% for First Homes with a discount of 30% on market prices and the remainder for additional affordable homeownership; and
  2. At least 10% of market homes and 10% of affordable homes built to meet wheelchair adaptable standards and all other homes built to meet accessible and adaptable standards;
B. A mix of new forms of employment provision to meet the needs of the transformational sectors, including work hubs, collaborative workspace and live-work schemes. 

C. Retention and improvement of the Guildhall Shopping Centre to contribute to the vitality and viability of the city centre.

D. Social, community and cultural infrastructure including:

  1. Public realm that provides space for community and cultural activities; 
  2. Retail or commercial units; 
  3. Contributions to early years, primary, secondary and special educational needs provision; and 
  4. Contributions to GP provision.
E. Transport infrastructure to deliver a low-car development: 
  1. A layout in accordance with active design principles comprising active travel routes which link to the existing routes in the area; 
  2. Contributions to off-site active travel routes including priority schemes in the Exeter Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan; 
  3. A mobility hub to provide for public transport, active travel and shared mobility; 
  4. Provision of infrastructure for, and contributions to, public transport; and  
  5. Electric vehicle charging points throughout the site. 

F. Enhancement of the natural environment and Green Infrastructure:

  1. Green Infrastructure provision in accordance with the Green Infrastructure Strategy including contributions to off-site provision; 
  2. Mitigation contributions to ensure no adverse effect on the European Sites, in accordance with requirements set out in the South-east Devon Mitigation Strategy; and
  3. Biodiversity enhancements.
G. An energy strategy that minimises carbon emissions (both operational and embodied), incorporates renewable and low carbon energy generation and helps to deliver, and connect to, local energy networks. 

H. Appropriate flood risk mitigation: 

  1. A layout informed by a detailed flood risk assessment which addresses flood risk from all sources;
  2. Sustainable Urban Drainage to mitigate against flood risk; and
  3. Provision of the necessary infrastructure to help deliver the Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan. 

I. Conservation and enhancement of the historic environment: 

  1. A layout informed by archaeological and heritage assessment, evaluation and mitigation; and
  2. A built form that enhances the character and appearance of the Central Conservation Area and protects the settings of the City Walls and all listed buildings including St Mary Arches Church (grade 1 listed), Church of St Pancras (grade II* listed), the Synagogue (grade II* listed), Civic Hall Higher Market (grade II* listed) and Gaumont Palace/Mecca Bingo Club (grade II listed) and those along North Street, High Street, Mary Arches Street and other surrounding streets; and
  3. Contributions towards the repair, maintenance and enhancement of the Exeter City Walls where appropriate.

Note: Policy not yet tested by viability appraisal.

You can use the slider on the image below to view an illustrative example of how the site might look in the future. 

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