Eutopia Homes, a developer specialising in mid-market homes for rent and for sale, has secured planning permission for a new sustainable ‘urban village’ on a 15-acre brownfield site previously owned by Network Rail.
Designed by award-winning architects Darling Associates, the plans were approved by Exeter City Council in a 10-1 vote following the officer’s recommendation for approval.
The £130 million development will create a new intergenerational community in the heart of Exeter, with 400 new homes for rent and sale, including 105 for affordable and discount market rent, delivered alongside 65 extra-care beds.
The scheme has been designed with environmental sustainability at the forefront, with the goal of setting new benchmarks for sustainable development locally and prioritising cycle and pedestrian mobility.
To help tackle car dependency and reduce CO2 emissions, only 0.4 car parking spaces will be provided per unit, with an on-site car club that will be operated via an app-based system. There will also be a new cycle path and over 1,000 bike spaces provided on-site as well as electric car and bike hire schemes.
Future residents will benefit from new outdoor spaces such as public gardens, squares, footpaths, a woodland walk and fitness trail. In total, green spaces make up 65% of the 15-acre site, which is just over a ten-minute walk from Exeter city centre and half a mile from Exeter University.
The approved plans also ensure the conservation and continued use of a locally listed former water tower, which will act as a local landmark.
The broad range of housing types, tenures and price-points provided on-site will ensure the development helps meet a number of local housing needs, including for high-quality rental homes that will help support the city’s growing workforce.
Of the 400 new homes approved:
● 230 will be designed and built exclusively for rent (including 57 discounted market rent homes) with on-site amenities such as co-working space, gym and residents’ dining room
● 122 will be for open market-sale (including 89 townhouses)
● 48 will be for affordable housing (social rent and shared ownership)
Eutopia says the additional 65 extra-care facilities provided will help to free up existing homes for first-time buyers and young families while helping relieve pressure on local NHS services.
Eutopia Homes acquired the site from Network Rail in October 2018 with Chenavari Investment Managers. Construction on site is due to start later this later.
The developer also recently announced a £105 million scheme in Salford, Greater Manchester that will deliver 500 homes close to MediaCityUK. Darling Associates, which opened an office in Manchester last year, is also the architect on the scheme.
Scott Hammond, founder and chief executive officer at Eutopia Homes, says: “Our plans will see the creation of a new urban village right in the heart of Exeter and will support the city’s long-term growth by providing much needed housing across a range of tenures and price-points.”
“The whole design of the scheme was led by a commitment to sustainability and green place-making, turning a long dormant brownfield site into a thriving mixed community that serves people of all ages and incomes. The positive comments made by the planning committee, who praised the design ethos of a lower car dependency scheme, will help set new benchmarks for future development in Exeter.”