South Gate


South Gate: Site reference 46

South Gate is located on the edge of the city centre and is currently dominated by the highway gyratory at the southern end of South Street and western end of Holloway Street (known as the Acorn gyratory). The site includes the Magdalen Street car park, a homeless shelter and a large area of roads and associated infrastructure.  

The site provides a great opportunity to significantly enhance the appearance of this key gateway to the city centre, improve active travel links between the city centre and the quayside and deliver a significant number of new homes. Development in this location would significantly improve the efficiency of the use of land in an area which has excellent access to a range of facilities, jobs and shops. 

Key considerations will be the loss of a public car park on site, the need to significantly realign the highway gyratory and take account of the utilities present in the area and the need to address potential impacts on the conservation area and the City Walls.

The site is currently largely owned by Devon County Council, either as a car park or as highway land, while the City Council has a lease on the public car park. The site boundary has changed since the last Exeter Plan consultation to remove areas of existing housing adjacent to Western Way, south of the highway gyratory, close to the City Walls, and also Cathedral and Quay car park. The site area is now more compact and focuses on Magdalen Street car park and the highway gyratory. 

Further work will be required to consider the delivery of South Gate. This work is beginning to be organised by Devon County Council and the City Council. Consultation with the local community will be required before the submission of planning applications.

South Gate site map

South Gate – Reference 46 (Strategic policy)

A site of 1.36 hectares at South Gate is identified for a mixed-use development delivering approximately 170 homes and provision for employment, creating an impressive and memorable city centre gateway. The development must support the achievement of net zero and accord with the Liveable Exeter Principles to deliver a compact and well-connected neighbourhood, incorporating the highest standards of design.

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; At least 10% of market homes built to meet wheelchair adaptable standards, at least 10% of affordable homes built to meet wheelchair adaptable standards and all other homes built to meet accessible and adaptable standards; 
  4. A range of dwelling sizes that takes account of local need; and
  5. Re-provision, either on site or off site, of appropriate homeless accommodation.

B. New employment provision in the form of a collaborative workspace.

C. Social, community and cultural infrastructure including:

  1. Public realm providing space for community and cultural activities;
  2. Contributions to early years, primary, secondary and special educational needs provision; and
  3. Contributions to GP provision.

D. Transport infrastructure to deliver car free development:

  1. A layout in accordance with active design principles comprising a dense network of active travel routes which link to the existing routes in the area;
  2. Alterations to the highway layout that improve active travel routes between the city centre and the Quay;
  3. Contributions to off-site active travel routes including priority schemes in the Exeter Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan;
  4. A mobility hub to provide for public transport, active travel and shared mobility; 
  5. Provision of infrastructure for, and contributions to, public transport; and
  6. A small number of electric vehicle charging point parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities and access provided for service and emergency vehicles.

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;
  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
  2. A built form that enhances the character and appearance of the Southernhay and The Friars and the Central Conservation Areas and protects the settings of the City Walls and all listed buildings including George’s Chapel (grade I listed), Wynard’s Hospital (grade II* listed), the Hotel Du Vin (grade II listed), the Gateway to Palmer’s Almshouses (grade II listed), 45, 46, 49, 50 and 63 to 66 Magdalen Street (grade II listed), The White Ensign Club (grade II listed), 71 to 75 Holloway Street (grade II listed) and others in 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.

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