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Sustainable transport & communications

Sustainable transport and communications

Vision – The most active city in the UK

Addressing sustainable transport and communications links to the outcome in the 2040 vision of Exeter being the most active city in the UK. Delivering development in the right locations and with attractive walking and cycling links will maximise active travel and improve health and wellbeing.

Vision – A leading sustainable city

Addressing sustainable transport and communications links to the outcome in the 2040 vision of Exeter being a leading sustainable city. Minimising car use and promoting active travel and public transport will help to achieve the ambition of Exeter being a net zero city by 2030.

Objective: Deliver development in appropriate locations with high quality infrastructure to minimise the need to travel, maximise sustainable transport and support emerging forms of mobility. Helping to deliver the strategic priorities of a net zero carbon city, a healthy and active city, housing and building great neighbourhoods and communities.

Introduction

The way we travel will be vital to the success of Exeter. It will be central to achieving net zero carbon, growing prosperity, healthy lifestyles and making improvements to our natural and historic environment. In future, travel won’t just be about whether we walk or drive, digital communications will also be key. The Exeter Plan will need to ensure that the city is resilient to changes in travel, supporting innovative development in the right places, providing real options and promoting fresh approaches to transport.

Chapter Summary

The policies in this section seek to deliver development in appropriate locations with high quality infrastructure to minimise the need to travel, maximise sustainable transport and support emerging forms of mobility. It also sets the intention to work in collaboration with partners in delivering sustainable transport options, and to support the improvement of digital communications.

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Policy STC1 sets out an overarching approach to sustainable movement. It identifies the importance of locating development to minimise the need to travel then sets out a hierarchy which priorities active travel (walking and cycling), public transport and shared mobility (for example car clubs and cycle hire) over traditional highway improvements.

Policy STC2 explains what new development will need to look like and provide to make it easier to use active and sustainable travel options. This includes delivering attractive and direct walking, cycling and public transport access, cycle parking options and charging points for bikes and cars.

Policy STC3 sets out that the City Council will work with other Authorities and stakeholders to create inclusive, safe, and attractive active travel environments. The policy identifies a set of key active travel proposals that the City Council will work to support.

Policy STC4 promotes a number of public transport proposals including support for greater integration of transport modes and ticketing systems. For buses, these include strategic bus improvements, the provision of electric vehicles and park and ride/park and change facilities. For rail, support for another new railway station at Monkerton, enhancement of St David’s station and accessibility improvements to all city stations.

Policy STC5 explains how new forms of car use will be supported, including provisions for electric vehicles and shared mobility, where transport options are shared amongst users on a flexible basis.

Policy STC6 sets out the requirements in relation to travel plans. Travel plans are long-term management strategies for integrating proposals for sustainable travel into the planning process and new developments.

STC7 identifies land and structures which are needed to either facilitate sustainable transport or support the large development allocations proposed in the plan. This includes land for the proposed new Monkerton railway station and access routes to proposed large development sites.

Policy STC8 sets out that the City Council would support the provision of an alternative motorway service area close to the city if a site could be delivered. This would provide relief for the local highway network and free-up a potential site for employment development.

Policy STC9 sets out a number of requirements for new development in order to drive better digital communications. Digital infrastructure will need to be planned into new developments from the start and viewed as an essential utility to ensure high quality, comprehensive connections.

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Sustainable movement

Addressing development and travel in Exeter requires joined up thinking and aligned policies. The City Council is working with partners including Devon County Council, as the Local Transport Authority, East Devon, Teignbridge Mid Devon District Councils, National Highways, Network Rail and bus operators to ensure we have consistent aspirations and approaches. This work with partners means that the content of the Exeter Plan, the Exeter Transport Strategy, the emerging Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, the new Local Transport Plan, Bus Service Improvement plan and other plans are consistent. More specifically, a transport modelling process is currently being progressed by Devon County Council and National Highways to assess the transport impact of development in the wider area covering Exeter, East Devon, Teignbridge and Mid Devon. This will underpin a coordinated transport strategy for the Exeter catchment area with the city at its core. 


Policy STC1 on sustainable movement sets out an overarching approach to ensuring development and transport work together to achieve the ambition of being a net zero carbon city by 2030, support growth, improve accessibility and enhance the local environment. It identifies the importance of locating development in appropriate locations to minimise the need to travel and provide services and facilities close to where people live, then sets out a hierarchy which priorities active travel (walking and cycling), public transport and shared mobility (for example car clubs and cycle hire) over traditional highway improvements for private car use. This will mean that in future, travelling by sustainable modes will be more attractive than travelling by car.


The focus on travel and health is shown through Exeter’s inclusion in a Sport England Delivery Pilot. The public face of this project is Live and Move which is working with communities to improve health and wellbeing through small changes to people’s everyday lives. 


All these strands come together and aim to achieve a goal of 50% of trips which start and finish in the city being taken by active travel. This is a shared ambition with Devon County Council.


On a more strategic level, we also need to recognise the important role which Exeter plays as a gateway to the national transport network with the two mainline railways lines, trunk road network and links to Exeter Airport in East Devon. Investments in these important networks will be required to maintain the role of city as a regional hub. Thinking about the impact of aviation in terms of achieving net zero will be a significant challenge but will need to be recognised and addressed in the period up to 2040.

STC1: Sustainable movement (Strategic policy)

To help achieve a net zero city by 2030, to support the sustainable growth of Exeter and the wider area and to improve accessibility, health and the environmental quality of the city, the following outcomes will be sought from all relevant planning decisions and through joint working between the City Council, other Authorities and stakeholders:

  1. Delivering on the spatial strategy by supporting development in locations which reduce the need to travel, maximise walking, cycling and public transport for the majority of everyday journeys and support low-car development where appropriate;
  2. Providing for mixed-use development which enables communities to access most of their daily needs on foot from their home;
  3. Supporting a healthy, active city through the transport hierarchy by delivering a prioritised and integrated network of active travel links to provide coherent, direct, safe, comfortable and attractive routes for walking, cycling and emerging modes;
  4. Achieving a reliable, low carbon, frequent and attractive standard of public transport within the city and to key destinations elsewhere throughout the day;
  5. Enhancing choices for all through new forms of car use by expanding shared mobility and requiring its provision in all major developments, significantly increasing provision for electric vehicles, supporting innovations including ticketing systems combining low emission modes and enabling the provision of mobility hubs;
  6. Supporting opportunities for sustainable water-borne transport;   
  7. Protecting and enhancing the function of Exeter as a strategic rail, bus/coach, road and air hub through investments in critical infrastructure.

Transport and new developments

Minimising the need to travel will be a vital part of creating attractive places, meeting our net zero ambitions and supporting healthy lifestyles. New development will need to be provided in a way which plays its part. 


Policy STC2 covering active and sustainable travel explains what new development will need to look like and what it will need to provide to make it easier for people to walk, cycle or use public transport and shared mobility (e.g. by using car clubs). Development will need to be laid out to enable attractive and direct access by walking, cycling and public transport. Parking will need to be provided in a different way to reduce the dominance of cars and prioritise conveniently located cycle parking for all dwellings and in public spaces. Appropriate charging points will be needed for the growing number of electric cars and bikes. Road widths and bus stops will need to allow buses to navigate development easily without delays. Infrastructure for shared mobility will be required to enable people to access transport in a different way.


An evolving approach to planning for people’s travel needs will mean that in some cases, depending on the location, type and scale of development, there will be opportunities for car-free development and this will be supported where appropriate, depending on location, scale of development and the availability of sustainable modes of transport.


Active travel and public transport provision will generally be prioritised over traditional highway improvements which provide additional road capacity. This will redress the balance between modes. In addition, transport provision will need to play a key role in place-making. 


There will be cases where local highway improvements are required. These may include widened vehicle access points, localised junction improvements, measures to improve safety and highway network resilience. There may also be a need to provide improvements to the trunk road network to ensure its safe and effective operation, as is required by the Government. 

STC2: Active and sustainable travel in new developments (Strategic policy)

To help achieve a net zero city by 2030, to support the sustainable growth of Exeter and to improve accessibility, health and the environmental quality of the city, development will be required to make high quality provision for the following in sequential order:

  1. Active travel; 
  2. Public transport and shared mobility;
  3. Electric vehicles;
  4. Highway enhancements where they are necessary for safety, where they promote an overall reduction in car journeys, where they make improvements to the local environment or where they are required to enable access to a development site;
  5. Local road improvements only where severe development impacts on the transport network cannot be avoided by the active and sustainable travel investments proposed with the development.

Active travel proposals

The Exeter Transport Strategy includes an ambitious aim for 50% of trips which start and finish in Exeter to be made on foot or by cycle. On this basis, a series of specific schemes will be required to support walking and cycling meaning that walking and cycling become more attractive options. 


Policy STC3 identifies a set of key proposals including the Exeter sections of long distance strategic trails. These reflect the importance of Exeter as the centre of a large travel to work area and the attractiveness of the city as a tourist destination. The Exe Estuary Trail linking Exeter with Dawlish and Exmouth, the Clyst Valley Trail between Exeter, villages to the east and Killerton and the emerging proposals for the Boniface Trail towards Crediton are important strategic trails for the city. 


Policy STC3 also includes a list of important routes identified as priorities in Devon County Council’s draft Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan. These routes should link to wider projects to improve the street scene and public spaces and also serve the strategic brownfield development allocations in the plan to play a key role in providing a significant improvements to the cross-city network of pedestrian and cycle routes, a vital part of the Exeter Transport Strategy. 


It is important to recognise that there are some significant barriers to walking and cycling in Exeter which mean that routes are less direct and journeys take longer. These barriers are sometimes roads, large junctions, the river or the canal.  Improvements will be needed to overcome some of these barriers while making the most of the river and canal in terms of active travel and waterborne transport. Improvements will also be made to support access to the Green Circle which is a fantastic asset in bringing nature into the city and to the local population. 


Beyond the large-scale active travel projects identified in policy STC3, smaller local measures are also important. The detailed design of cycle infrastructure in accordance with the government guidance LTN1/20, secure and enclosed cycle parking and drying spaces in buildings are all needed to widen the attractiveness of active travel. Travel planning will also be needed to support people in making sustainable transport choices as they move into new developments. 


The design of developments themselves will also need to ensure that active travel is provided for comprehensively. Development should be designed at the outset to prioritise walking, cycling and scooting and minimise driving speeds in accordance with approaches set out in Manual for Streets and the Sport England Active Design Guidance. New development will also need to provide inclusive and accessible environments that take into account the needs of the whole community, including disadvantaged groups, those with disabilities and people with children and buggies. The Healthy Streets principles will play a role here and should be taken into account when designing new developments and delivering new transport infrastructure. 


Looking more broadly, away from new development specifically, it is important to ensure that streets, footways and other walking routes are free of clutter to make walking a more attractive option. The City Council, alongside Devon County Council, has signed-up to the Clear Streets Charter to address issues caused by advertising boards, street furniture, charging points and bins and to promote engagement with people with visual impairments in the design of developments.

STC3: Supporting active travel (Strategic policy)

The City Council will work with other Authorities and stakeholders to create inclusive, coherent, direct, safe, comfortable and attractive active travel environments through place-making, enhancements to the public realm, street planting, improved air quality, use of water ways and the reduced dominance of cars in accordance with active design principles 

The City Council will support the extension of a comprehensive active travel and public rights of way network including through improvements to:

  1. Long distance routes including the Clyst Valley Trail, the Boniface Trail, the Exe Cycle Route and Exe Estuary Trail; 
  2. Routes included within the Exeter Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan and alongside waterways; 
  3. Addressing severance challenges caused by the Strategic Road Network, the former Exeter bypass, key junctions, railway lines, the River Exe and the Exeter Ship Canal, without compromising safety; and 
  4. City centre streets, including South Street, Fore Street, Paris Street, Queen Street, Sidwell Street, Summerland Street and Barnfield Road; and
  5. Routes to and including Heavitree High Street, Cowick Street and Magdalen Road.

Development proposals will be required to provide high quality infrastructure, facilities and multi-modal parking to prioritise active travel for all.  

Major development must:

  1. Be designed so early phases of development are as close as possible to existing active travel routes and make walking and cycling improvements; and
  2. Prioritise a dense and permeable network of coherent, direct, safe, comfortable and attractive active routes connecting into the wider active travel network.

All major developments and developments which result in an increase in one additional net dwelling must provide secure, enclosed parking/storage for cycles, electric bikes, cargo bikes, adapted cycles, electric scooters and push chairs. When provided centrally within a development, parking for active travel must be located in easily accessible locations with natural surveillance and high quality access to active travel routes. Parking to support active travel must be prioritised over car parking with the exception of disabled parking.  

Showers and drying space must be provided in all employment and commercial developments of more than 0.5ha and in all cases, in developments employing more than 20 people. 

Parking for active travel should be provided in accordance with the adopted Sustainable Transport SPD and any subsequent replacement. 

Contributions will be sought towards new or improved active travel infrastructure in the city, in the early phases of development.

Public transport

In addition to active travel, public transport will be vital to provide a real alternative to using the car, particularly for areas on the edge of the city, where there are hills and for the elderly, families and the less mobile. 


Compared to the surrounding rural areas, Exeter has a wider bus network with more frequent services, while the new bus station in the city centre has improved the passenger experience and vehicles have been upgraded. However, improvements to service reliability, frequencies, bus priority measures, the provision of electric vehicles and waiting infrastructure are all required to widen transport choices. Exeter also an important role as a hub for long distance coach travel with National Express, Falcon and Megabus all serving the city and wider area. This role should be safeguarded with improvements made to interchanges and stops while bus services to Exeter Airport should be enhanced. The City Council will work with Devon County Council to improve bus provision through the Bus Service Improvement Plan and through new development. 


In addition to buses, Exeter benefits from an efficient and widespread rail network with two mainlines and two branch lines. There have also been considerable efforts to improve the network in recent years through high profile new stations at Newcourt and more recently at Marsh Barton. The network provides good rail access to many areas of the city, to the local area and national destinations. However, frequencies and station access require improvement while a new station at Monkerton is proposed alongside an enhancement to the gateway role of St David’s station. The ongoing roll-out of the Devon Metro concept will continue to provide enhancements in future. 


Policy STC4 promotes a number of public transport proposals. For buses, these include strategic bus improvements on the main corridors into the city, the provision of electric vehicles and park and ride / park and change facilities. For rail, the policy continues the longstanding support for another new railway station at Monkerton, improving St David’s station so that it provides a fitting arrival point for the city and widespread accessibility improvements to city stations. Working with partners, the City Council will support greater integration of transport modes, including bus, rail and shared mobility (such as car clubs and e-bike hire) through smart and integrated ticketing systems. 


The spatial strategy has a key role in ensuring widespread use of public transport by focusing development close to existing services. Development must also provide the improvements needed to enhance our networks and improve transport choice. This will help us deliver on our net zero ambitions, enhance health and wellbeing and improve accessibility for all communities.

STC4: Supporting public transport (Strategic policy)

The City Council will work with other Authorities and stakeholders to support inclusive, direct, frequent and reliable public transport. 

The City Council will support bus and coach provision through service, infrastructure and vehicle improvements: 

  1. On the Exeter Central corridor between Heavitree and the city centre; 
  2. On the Exeter Northern corridor between New North Road and the city centre;
  3. On the Exeter Eastern corridor between Pinhoe Road and the city centre;
  4. On the Exeter western corridor between Cowick Street and the city centre;
  5. On Topsham Road, Alphington Road and Cowley Bridge Road;
  6. On the local and national coach network; and 
  7. Serving Exeter Airport.    

The City Council will support the enhancement of rail provision in the city: 

  1. By safeguarding land for a railway station and associated enabling track and signalling infrastructure at Monkerton/Hill Barton;
  2. By supporting continued delivery of the Devon Metro programme including at least half hourly frequencies on rail lines into Exeter;
  3. By providing improved interchange facilities at St David’s Station; and
  4. By improving accessibility and level access at all stations.

The City Council will support multi-modal travel:

  1. By enabling park and ride and park and change provision serving the key radial routes accessing the city where appropriate;
  2. Through the delivery of high quality, multi-modal provision at a series of mobility hubs at key interchanges, in the city centre and at large scale developments to enable a seamless transition between modes; and 
  3. Through the establishment of an integrated ticketing system for public transport and shared mobility.

Development proposals will be required to provide high quality and safe access to public transport.

Major development must:

  1. Provide densities, layouts and design which allow the provision of prioritised, frequent, reliable and attractive public transport services to, and where relevant, within, the site.

Development proposals of 100 homes or more and major commercial development must:

  1. Be located where high quality public transport is, or can be provided through developer contributions;
  2. Deliver appropriately located bus stops with raised kerbs for easy bus access, high quality shelters and real time information and, where appropriate, suitable routes for bus priority; and
  3. Provide new local multi-modal transport hubs and interchanges making best use of existing bus, rail and walking and cycling routes.

Contributions will be sought towards new or improved public transport services and/or infrastructure in the city, appropriately phased to most efficiently support the long-term future of the service.

Supporting new forms of car use

Whilst active travel and public transport will be prioritised and will play a vital role in helping to support development, achieving net zero, increasing health and wellbeing and creating great places, new forms of car use will retain a role for some people and for some journeys. Policy STC5 explains how new forms of car use will be supported. 


The Government has committed to the end of sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 meaning the number and importance of electric vehicles will significantly increase over time. Alongside the decarbonisation of the electricity grid, this evolution will reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and reduce the impact of car use on in terms of noise. The provision of significant additional numbers of electric charging points and associated parking will therefore need to come forward quickly, including in new development. 


Car use will also be part of an increase in shared mobility, where transport is shared among users who pay to have access to transport on a flexible basis. This could include car clubs and car sharing schemes or be combined with other systems such as bike hire. Car clubs can be used for less frequent trips and to complement sustainable transport. Development will support such car use by providing the necessary infrastructure and parking provision for shared mobility.


The spatial strategy within the Exeter Plan which focuses on strategic brownfield development sites close to the city centre, the provision of local services close to where people live and increased support for sustainable travel means that low car, and in some cases, no-car development will be supported where appropriate, particularly at the strategic brownfield development allocations. Applications at these sites will need to address this potential and also consider the potential parking implications for the nearby streets through controlled parking regimes. 

STC5: Supporting new forms of car use

To manage the impact of car travel on the city, development will be required to make specific provision for new forms of car use including for electric vehicles and shared mobility. 

Parking for electric vehicles with electric charging points must be provided in all major developments and developments which result in an increase in one additional net dwelling. Parking for car club vehicles must be provided at central locations in all major developments. Parking for electric vehicles and car club vehicles should be prioritised over parking for privately owned petrol and diesel cars in terms of the amount and location and should allow for a significant growth in the use of these vehicles. 

Electric charging points should not be located where they would have a negative impact on the safety and functionality of the highway including footways, residential amenity or heritage assets and their setting.

Specific provision must be made in major developments for loading, unloading and deliveries.  

Car parking should be integrated into the overall design of proposals to avoid a highway dominated layout and ensure high quality public realm.

Appropriate levels of car and motorcycle parking should be provided in the context of: 

  1. The uses proposed;
  2. The location of development;
  3. The scale of development; and
  4. Availability of, and/or potential to improve, active travel, public transport and shared mobility.  

Car parking should be provided in accordance with the adopted Sustainable Transport SPD and any subsequent replacement. 

Car-free and low-car residential (including purpose built student accommodation and co-living), employment and commercial development will be supported in the city centre, at the strategic brownfield development sites and elsewhere when it is demonstrated to be acceptable by a transport statement and/or a transport assessment and travel plan, where appropriate provision is made for high quality active travel, public transport and shared mobility and where there are currently, or are proposals for, controlled parking zones. 

Contributions towards the establishment of controlled parking zones will be required from major car-free and low-car residential development proposals where they are not already in place.

Travel plans

Travel plans are long-term management strategies for integrating proposals for sustainable travel into the planning process and new developments. People’s travel behaviours can be influenced by facilities at their place of work and when they move house. The provision of information, opportunities and incentives to use active travel, public transport and shared mobility, provided through a travel plan, can deliver significant increases in these modes for comparatively low cost. Policy STC6 sets out the requirements in relation to travel plans. 


Travel plans will usually be required at outline planning stage through a planning condition and will be supported by developer contributions. 

STC6: Travel plans

All planning applications for major development proposals and/or developments proposals which would generate significant numbers of transport movements should be accompanied by a travel plan. 

Travel plans will identify how the development will minimise car travel by considering:

  1. Development layout and the location of nearby facilities and services;
  2. Infrastructure and facilities to support sustainable transport;
  3. Multi-modal parking;
  4. Travel information;
  5. Incentives for using sustainable transport; and
  6. Monitoring, reviewing and reporting of the travel plan measures. 
Travel plan measures should be delivered by the developer or through financial contributions to the Local Transport Authority.

Safeguarding transport infrastructure

The National Planning Policy Framework states that planning policies should identify and protect, where there is robust evidence, sites and routes which could be critical in developing infrastructure to widen transport choice and support large development. On this basis, STC7 identifies land and structures which are needed to either facilitate sustainable transport or support the large development allocations proposed in the plan.

STC7: Safeguarding transport infrastructure (Strategic policy)

The following sites, routes and structures are safeguarded for future transport infrastructure: 

  1. Land at Monkerton/Hill Barton on the Exeter to Exmouth branch line for a new railway station and associated access;
  2. The disused railway line, and land for associated access, at Marsh Barton for safe access and egress, active travel and flood risk adaptation; 
  3. Railway arches and land at Tan Lane under the Great West Mainline for access to the Water Lane development; 
  4. Underbridge of the Great West Mainline for active travel access to Water Lane and Marsh Barton; 
  5. An additional railway arch under the Great West Mainline on Alphington Road for improved pedestrian and cycle access under the line;
  6. The embankment under the Exmouth Branchline on Sidmouth Road for improved pedestrian and cycle access under the line; and 
  1. Land at Water Lane and in the Riverside Valley Park for an additional active travel crossing of the Exeter Ship Canal. 

Development will not be supported where it would preclude the delivery of the transport infrastructure on the sites, routes and structures listed in this policy.

Motorway service area

The service area off Junction 30 of the M5 close to Sowton is strategic infrastructure for the wider area and is important in supporting the function of the trunk road network. In recent times the services have been improved, including through the opening of a large scale electric charging station.


However, the service area does not have dedicated slip roads from the motorway which means that vehicles have to navigate the local highway network for access. This plays a role in increasing congestion on the local highway network, particularly in the summer months as a result of holiday traffic. This has implications for trips from Exeter’s large travel to work area and also in providing access to Sowton as a strategic employment area.


If an alternative service area could be provided close to Exeter, this would provide relief for the local highway network, providing significant benefits. As set out in policy STC8, the City Council would support the provision of an alternative service area close to the city if a site could be delivered. This would require significant discussion with Moto who run the services, Devon County Council, National Highways, East Devon District Council, Teignbridge District Council and Mid Devon District Council whilst funding and securing the land needed would be significant challenges.


These challenges have informed the preparation of the Exeter Plan which no longer proposes to allocate the Liveable Exeter site known as Sandy Gate which included the motorway service area. However, the site would be appropriate in principle for employment provision and therefore if an alternative motorway service area could be delivered the City Council would support employment development at the site of the current services.

STC8: Motorway service area (Strategic policy)

Subject to the provision of an appropriate replacement, the City Council supports the principle of redeveloping the motorway service area at Moor Lane, adjacent to Junction 30 on the M5, for employment uses.

Digital communications

Digital communication goes hand in hand with transport provision; people increasingly access services, shopping and work online, reducing the need to travel. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated this evolution which means that fast and reliable digital communications infrastructure is increasingly vital to support our communities and businesses.


The Government has set out the importance of a new approach to digital infrastructure provision through the UK’s Digital Strategy. This is taken forward at a city level by policy STC9 which sets out a number of requirements for new development in order to drive better digital communications. Digital infrastructure will need to be planned into new developments from the start and viewed as an essential utility to ensure high quality, comprehensive connections. Open-access ducting will be provided to enable a variety of fibre companies to provide the high quality digital connectivity which communities. The City Council will work digital providers to deliver on these aims.


In making improvements to digital connectivity, it will be important to ensure that enhanced digital infrastructure is planned in a way which considers amenity and potential impacts on the natural and historic environment.

STC9: Digital communications (Strategic policy) 

To facilitate economic growth, improve accessibility and achieve a net zero city by 2030, the City Council is committed to enabling a step-change in digital communications.

Development and infrastructure proposals that support the improvement of digital communications, including full fibre connectivity, digital exchanges and next generation mobile connectivity, will be supported when they would not have unacceptable impacts on the natural, built and historic environment.

All new residential, employment and commercial development will:

  1. Be required to have access to high-speed digital infrastructure; and
  2. Incorporate digital infrastructure as one of the essential utilities.

All large scale residential, employment and commercial development will:

  1. Incorporate digital infrastructure as one of the essential utilities, with routing and phasing planned comprehensively alongside the other utilities and identified within a utility connection plan;
  2. Where an appropriate organisation for its management is in place, provide a network of open access ducting (open to all fibre providers) suitable for, and including, full-fibre connections to each building on first occupation. Ducting must have capacity to accommodate multi-operator fibre connections to the premises to encourage competition and choice for consumers; and
  3. Where appropriate management structures are in place, provide digital infrastructure ducting through a ‘dig once’ approach. 
Sites of at least 500 dwellings or 5 hectares of employment will ensure resilience by providing at least two physically separate external connections points.

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