Last updated: 10th May 2012






Preliminary work is underway on the draft neighbourhood plan. An experienced planning consultant will be recruited to assist our NP working group and to write the draft, to be paid out of funds in the Front Runner grant held on our behalf by ECC.

There are two key consultation events coming up for members and associate members of ESJF, one in April to comment at an early stage, and the other in June to discuss the working draft. Please put both dates in your diary. Input from residents and people who work in St James is an essential part of the process.

Tuesday 17 April 7 – 9.30 pm St Sidwell’s Primary School

Briefing on requirements of and content in the NP; discussion on key issues, priorities and policies; guidance to NP working party and consultant

Saturday 9 June 2 – 4.30 pm St Sidwell’s Primary School

Open public event; to present, discuss and ask for comments on draft neighbourhood plan

ESJF’s first AGM will be held during the afternoon, details to be advised. It will be an opportunity to give your views on the progress of the Forum and to vote for the officers of the Steering Group.


What happens next?

Following the open event and any changes to the plan, a final draft will be sent to ECC (local planning authority) for its comments, followed by an examination by an independent inspector.

The plan then has to be approved in a referendum. Details on referendum procedure are awaited from the government. We are aiming to put the question of approval for the neighbourhood plan for St James to all voters in the ward towards the end of 2012.



ESJF has been asked by Exeter City Council to publicise the latest information on the road works at London Inn Square (New North Road/Sidwell Street junction) and the York Road area. The work on York Road starts on 2nd April and will take 6 – 8 weeks. Work at London Inn Square will follow in June.

See the full notes to local residents from Paul Osborne, Exeter City Council’s environmental improvements officer, on our website: CLICK 

We are in for a disruptive period but will be keeping in close touch with ECC and Devon County highways officers during this time. For more information on the road works and new layouts, contact Paul Osborne,, Jamie Hulland,, or go to:

Our Prosperity task group, whose work includes gathering information on transport and traffic, and other members of ESJF sent detailed comments on the proposed new layouts to the councils earlier this year.

We have asked for and received assurance that the new traffic system will be monitored and reviewed from time to time. The councils intend to hold a public meeting for residents of St James in the summer. We will assist in publicising it.


It may be on the other side of Sidwell Street, but the proposed redevelopment of Exeter Bus and Coach Station is important to long term planning for the St James side of the street as well.

See ECC’s website for more information on the first round of consultation which ends on 23 April:


Another temporary disruption will be the closure of King William Street multi-storey car park for refurbishment work, starting on 16 April and expected to take 16-18 weeks.

At the invitation of Dawn Rivers, community liaison officer at ECC, ESJF is co-ordinating a community arts project for the temporary hoardings. Children at St Sidwell’s Primary School will be doing paintings on the theme of My Neighbourhood and local community groups will be invited to join in.

The colourful display will be on view from late April.

HOOPERN VALLEY - BIOBLITZ EXETER ON 12 MAY... Cancelled due to wet ground conditions.



With the enthusiastic involvement of the Students’ Guild and Rory Cunningham, University’s community liaison officer, ECI’s Harvest Project is organising a big clear-up in Queen’s Crescent garden in preparation for its Communal Garden Jubilee party there on 6 June.

Volunteers are invited to help with the clearing work – and, of course, to come to the party. For the latest information, email Ellie Parker,, or Rory Cunningham,


A Crescent fit for the Queen

The University and Students’ Guild are currently supporting local charity ‘Harvest’ to reinvigorate Queens Crescent in the heart of the St James Ward.

The 2011 Community Survey indicated that permanent locals and student residents both had an interest in finding ways to better connect the space with the surrounding community. The Crescent had already been benefiting from a series of gardening days organised by local food-growing charity ‘Harvest’ and the Student Community Wardens began to explore ways to help enhance this work.

Over the next few months the Student Community Wardens will be working with Harvest to coordinate a series of volunteering days for Exeter students and Exeter University staff groups.

Exeter University’s Campus Services have also donated a variety of materials, including bird boxes to enhance the space and hopefully attract more wildlife.

Emma Payne, Welfare and Community Officer for the Students’ Guild has been working with Community Action to identify students seeking volunteering opportunities:
‘This initiative has provided a great opportunity to showcase student and staff volunteering and we have been encouraged by the support of local residents. We are also very glad to receive support from the St James Policing team who are keen to encourage positive uses for this space’.

The initial goal is to have the space revived and re-planted in time for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. We hope that the local residents who live around the space can join all the volunteers who helped for a Jubilee tea party.

‘Many residents surrounding this space didn’t realise that they have joint use of this land. We especially want surrounding students to connect with the space and take pride in it. We also think this land could provide a great spot for a social event in September, to bring students and permanent locals together at the start of the academic year’.
Jasmina Mularska, Student Community Warden.


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