Red Cow


Red Cow: Site reference 22

Red Cow is a large strategic site proposed for allocation in the Exeter Plan, located in the area of St David’s railway station. Cowley Bridge Road and Bonhay Road run along the eastern boundary and the platforms and rail lines of St David’s station lie to the west. The site is brownfield and currently contains St David’s station’s ‘head-house’, surface car parks associated with the railway station, storage and industrial uses, student accommodation and shops. The site boundary has extended since the last consultation to include the student accommodation at Brunel Close.

Part of the site is already allocated for mixed use redevelopment in the Exeter Local Plan First Review. The site is also included in the Liveable Exeter initiative. The City Council proposes that the existing allocation should be extended in the Exeter Plan in order to maximise the site’s potential.

Red Cow offers the opportunity to deliver and impressive and memorable city gateway, creating a sense of arrival into Exeter. As a strategic transport hub, the site is well suited to deliver a low carbon, low-car neighbourhood that optimises density. In order to deliver the high quality gateway envisaged, land owners, the City Council and other interested parties will need to work in close partnership. The development must meet the needs of railway uses, as well as responding to challenges such as flood risk, contamination, and protection of the amenities of nearby residents.

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

Red Cow site map

Red Cow – Reference 22 (Strategic policy)

A site of 4 hectares at Red Cow is identified for a residential led mixed-use development delivering approximately 280 homes and an impressive and memorable city gateway that creates a sense of arrival into Exeter. The development must support the achievement of net zero and accord with the Liveable Exeter Principles, incorporating the highest standards of design and delivering a place people will visit, stay, work and live. 

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;  
  2. Custom and self-build plots;
  3. 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; and
  4. A range of dwelling sizes that takes account of local need. 

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. 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.  

D. Transport infrastructure to deliver a low-car development: 

  1. A transport interchange/mobility hub for public transport, active travel and shared mobility;
  2. A layout in accordance with active design principles comprising active travel routes to provide access to and from St David’s station and linking to the existing routes in the area including routes along the River Exe; 
  3. Contributions to off-site active travel routes including priority schemes in the Exeter Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan; 
  4. Provision of infrastructure for, and contributions to, public transport; and  
  5. Electric vehicle charging points throughout the site.

E. 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. 

F. 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.

G. Appropriate flood risk mitigation: 

  1. A layout informed by a detailed flood risk assessment which addresses flood risk from all sources, including the Taddiforde Brook, and makes provision for emergency access and egress; 
  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.

H. 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 St David’s Conservation Area and retains sight lines of locally listed St David’s station.

Note: Policy not yet tested by viability appraisal.

This engagement phase has finished

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