Proposals to convert the City Service Station site in Well Street into a 68 student bed development will be opposed. 

Click here for the Forum's initial response to Grainge Architects who organised last month's drop-in consultation event.

 Background information can be seen in the News section.




Forum Statement

The recent decision by Exeter City Council Planning Committee to approve plans for the redevelopment of the Football Club, involving accommodation blocks for 327 students, was met with widespread consternation by residents of St James.

Neighbourhood plans are designed to enable local people to influence how development will occur locally in order to ensure the right type of development for their community. The fundamental aim of our adopted Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan - which carries statutory weight - is to provide a better community balance within St James by limiting the growth of student numbers in the ward. Currently students make up 55% of the population; this figure will rise to 57% as a consequence of the planning consent.

The Neighbourhood Plan is neither anti-development nor anti-Football Club. The relevant policy being:

SD1: Football Club / Yeo and Davey Site

Proposals that secure the continued vitality and viability of the Football Club and encourage comprehensive well-designed mixed use development will be supported provided they would:

 a) result in positive, attractive and well-designed frontages of an appropriate scale to Well Street, St James Road, Old Tiverton Road and the railway corridor;
b) be of a scale, form and character appropriate to the residential nature of St James;
c) adopt high standards of sustainable design;
d) take account of the need to improve the balance of the community;
e) adopt layout and arrangement of access and egress that minimise the impact of additional traffic on surrounding residential streets such as Oxford Road;
f) encourage a flexible and ‘joined up plan’ for both the Football Club and the Yeo & Davey

The proposal to build large, purpose-built student accommodation units for over 300 students is not consistent with mixed use development and will mean a further deterioration in the balance of the community. Faced with these breaches in policy, the Forum took the view that the Minister for Housing and Planning at the Department for Communities and Local Government should be advised that the Neighbourhood Plan, the first to be adopted by an urban local authority, had been so readily set aside leaving a community which had positively embraced neighbourhood planning both demoralised and disillusioned.

The Forum has since been informed by the DCLG that a Direction under the Town and Country Planning Order 2015 has been issued preventing ECC from granting planning consent for the time being. The matter is now in the hands of the Secretary of State.

See a copy of the Forum’s letter to the Minister here.


Three Awards will see significant improvements THIS SPRING in Queen's Crescent Garden.

First, Exeter St James Forum is delighted to be able to announce that an application by Exeter St James Community Trust Ltd for a grant from Department for Communities and Local Government's (DCLG's) Pocket Park Programme has been successful! £13000 has been awarded for immediate use

Second, thanks to our local county councillor, Cllr. Jill Owen, a matchfunding award of £5000 from DCC Locality Budget will be used to boost the DCLG award, ensuring a bigger impact will be achieved, with much greater length of the walls receiving attention. 

Third, as a result of the Community Matters Scheme where customers at John Lewis were invited to place a green token each time they shopped in the store for 3 months last year, Robyn Connett was invited to receive a cheque for £375 on behalf of Queen's Crescent Garden Project Group!

This money will be used towards the purchase of a noticeboard that will provide information in the garden related to the project and which should be erected in the next few weeks. Many thanks to John Lewis and their customers!

For the full story and to see how you can help click here.



Both St James Forum and Trust are represented on Exeter Community Forum (ECF) - see previous articles in the News section here. A city-wide organisation set up with the support of Exeter City and Devon County Councils, its aim is to create a community strategy for Exeter for the next five to ten years which will, among other things, inform how the neighbourhood portion of CIL* funding will be spent.

Following a series of community based consultative meetings across the city, including one held in St James in November, a first draft of the strategy has now been produced. This can be viewed on the ECF website (click here) together with a feedback form. Although the consultation will go on until 14 March 2016 comments are invited now to inform further discussion at the next meeting of ECF on 24 February.

The draft strategy will be considered by Exeter City Council Scrutiny Committee on 1 March. Should you wish, please pass any comments to Cllr. Keith Owen (cllr.keith.owen@exeter.gov.uk) and Cllr. Christine Buswell (cllr.christine.buswell@exeter.gov.uk) ahead of this meeting.

It is expected that final approval will be agreed by ECF and ECC in April.

* Community Infrastructure Levy, a local authority charge on new developments in an area, of which 15% is allocated to neighbourhood spending (estimated at £3.7m in Exeter over 10 years).


Bus Station Area Redevelopment Given Planning Consent

Despite overwhelming negative comments, the proposals for the redevelopment of the bus and coach station area received outline consent at an Extraordinary Council meeting of Exeter City Council on 20 January. Detailed applications will follow for separate areas of development: new retail, restaurants and cafes (Princesshay Leisure); the council's leisure centre; and the new bus station.

Whatever happens with the detailed applications, the decision to close the top end of Paris Street has been made. The impact of the additional traffic coming through St James was acknowledged but not considered to be sufficiently severe to justify changes to the transport proposals.

However, the changes will be monitored after six months. If the new system is not working and if rat-running through residential streets is a problem for pedestrians and residents, ESJF and residents' associations in St James will press for mitigation measures. The applicants are required to provide a reserve fund of £500,000 to cover problems which arise after roadworks have been completed and the development has been built.

Read the latest QCG Update here



Welcome to the Exeter St James Forum website where we bring you news, features, information and announcements about a Neighbourhood Plan to enhance the area in which we live.

The Government has introduced new planning policies which have given more power to local people. The Localism Act was given Royal Assent in November 2011 and communities are being encouraged to prepare neighbourhood plans to influence what happens in their area.

A group of residents’ associations and individuals, representing most parts of St James, joined forces as the Exeter St James Forum with the aim of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the ward. Following a two year process the Plan received a 'Big Yes Vote' in a referendum on, 2 May 2013. The now fully adopted plan sets out a vision for St James and our priorities for the future. Exeter City Council and Devon County Council will take the plan into account when making planning and development decisions. The plan should also help the community to secure funding for projects to improve the area. Find out more.

 The three key priorities are...  


If you would like to become involved in the Exeter St James Forum or would like to be kept up-to-date through the mailing list please CLICK here.

Our Email address is – info@exeterstjamesforum.org 

See the full list of our associates...

The information on this website is offered in good faith. 



NEW Download a PDF of About St James Issue 3, April 2016

Download a PDF of about St James Issue 2, September 15

Download a PDF of About St James Issue 1


To adverise your business here and support the high profile Queen's Crescent Garden Project please get in touch CLICK. Just £50 a year! Includes a link to your website and insertion in "About St James"  the joint Trust/Forum newsletter delivered twice a year to every household in St James


WELL, WELL, WELL..Find out more about the ancient holy well discovered in Well Street

Visit the Devon and Cornwall Police website page for St James


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the St James’ Forum on 14th June 2014 



Following on from a Big Yes vote for Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan on 2nd May 2013, the Plan was officially adopted by Exeter City Council on 16 July 2013. Find out more in Newsletter 18

The Plan now forms part of Exeter’s statutory development plans and the policies it contains will be used to help determine planning applications.

Congratulations from Nick Boles MP & Right Hon Don Foster MP CLICK

See the Neighbourhood Plan Main Document   CLICK