news items

This is a summary of the present news items.

Mount Radford Lawn


Two items of news on MRL.
1. the progress of our application to get it listed as an Asset Of Community Value.
2. Work being carried out there between now and May 2021.

Road changes - Magdalen Road + others in St. Leonards


Because of the pandemic and social distancing DCC have implemented traffic changes all over Exeter. See how it affects St Leonards.
Devon County Council would like your views on their 5 different solutions. GO TO THEIR CONSULTATION
If you are interested in how other areas of the country have reacted as well as more information on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods go to our Local traffic Conversations page



What we are doing and where to get help.

Rapid Charging Exeter


Some local parking spaces being allocated to charging bays for electric cars.

Wellbeing Exeter  - Community Cafe


The Newtown & St Leonards Newsletter from our Community Builder, plus a very useful update with shopping and activity info.
Also details of a monthly Community Cafe on Zoom 

The Hour Glass - ACV application


The locals get together to protect the pub's future.

Bull Meadow


The sinking culvert problem

Cygnet Theatre -National Scholarship Scheme


 Cygnet is thrilled to be taking part in the 2021 scholarship scheme organised by national industry newspaper The Stage.  

Roberts Road Church Hall


New plans for development

Secanim Ltd - 'smelly factory'


They are closing and moving away - hurrah!

The news of what's on and what's happening in St Leonards can be found in several places.

the Neighbourhood News

Our wonderful Neighbourhood News gets delivered to 3200 houses in the St Leonards area every two months and it contains articles, advertisements and up-coming events. To find out more go to the Neighbourhood News web page.


Here is a link to our virtual noticeboard which shows the same events and posters as the real noticeboard which is on the green opposite the shops in Magdalen Road.

Wellbeing Exeter

The Newtown & St Leonards Community Builder monthly Newsletter contains a wealth of information about things going on in the area.
Sometimes there's an update sheet.

scroll down to see more



GOOD NEWS (then bad news)- EXETER DEAF ACADEMY PLAYING FIELD. (Mount Radford Lawn.)

We recently heard some very good news that Mount Radford Lawn has been listed by Exeter City Council as an "Asset Of Community Value".
This does not come with any guarantees of its future, but it is an important step along the way to keeping the playing field as a playing field.
The the owner asked for a review of the decision to list, the review took place and ECC did not change their mind. Here's what they said:-
" Justification for listing Mount Radford Lawn as an Asset of Community Value:
 The playing field has been used for as a playing field by pupils from a variety of local schools (e.g. ISCA Academy, and the Maynard School, in addition to Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education), and for other recreational purposes (e.g. pre-school play) for decades, with use ceasing in 2019, (i.e. the very recent past) only when access to the field was restricted by the owners, Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education. There is every reason to think that, if listed, use will continue to be made of the asset for organised sports and other recreational purposes by local schools and the local community, which will further both the social wellbeing and social interests of that community, both in the same way as before and in new ways. For example, the playing field has unquestionable capacity to function as a more general greenspace, as a venue for community and social events (such as fetes and fairs / markets), and as a venue for more ad hoc physical activities, such as Frisbee, outdoor aerobics or other forms of ’keep fit’, etc, as distinct from organised sports.
 Listing the playing field would be entirely consistent with the need to protect playing pitches in Exeter at a time of rapid population growth leading to growing organised sports team formation, and with the strategic aims (e.g. promote community resourcefulness) and ’Whole System Approach’ to increasing physical activity advocated in Exeter’s July 2019 Physical Activity Strategy - ’Exeter Live Better & Move More’ 
Then some bad news 13/8/2020..... ERADE have taken this decision to a First Tier Tribunal, that means the decision gets reviewed again by a Judge away from Exeter. We have responded to this appeal. A projected date for a decision on the ACV listing is January 2021!

To find out how the listing helps us and more, go to the ECC website here.
To see our vision for how this playing field could be used for the community - click here.



Here is a statement from South West Water explaining the situation.
Background for the infrastructure work
Under the Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP) South West Water has a requirement to deliver improvements to our wastewater network. As a result, we are upgrading the existing combined stormwater overflow (CSO) located in the highway at the bottom of Holloway Street with a mechanically raked 6mm screen.
To install a new structure to accommodate the screen would require the closure of Topsham Road for approximately three months. It would also not be a good location to install equipment that requires maintenance as this would require future traffic restrictions, so we have chosen to relocate the CSO to the residential car park at Colleton Court.
With the Covid-19 restrictions earlier in the year we agreed with Devon County Council Highways to gain early access during the reduced traffic movements so we could close Topsham Road for one week to lay a new sewer from the centre of the highway to the verge adjacent to Colleton Court, this work was completed in June.
We are currently working in Colleton Court to dig trial holes to accurately locate the existing services so we can install a small tunnel beneath the high brick boundary wall. This work will be completed prior to Christmas.
In January, work will commence on installing the new CSO chamber, sewers and an eight-metre deep shaft connecting to the surface water culvert running beneath Colleton Mews. This work is planned to be operational by the end of April 2021 with final reinstatement completed during May 2021.
Site compound at Mount Radford Lawn
Over the last few months we have been in discussion with the Deaf Academy, who own the demolition site on Topsham Road. We have tried hard to locate the compound somewhere on the disused school site, as we had previously done for the roadworks earlier in the year. However, work is due to start on the disused site shortly which means that we are unable to use it for our compound.
However, the Deaf Academy were happy to accommodate us on their former playing field opposite, which is no longer used. Prior to the agreement we engaged with the Planning Authority and the Conservation Officer to ensure there were no restrictions to use the land for a temporary compound.
The compound is required for a site office, welfare facilities and drying rooms. There will also be an area for parking vehicles and for storing materials. It has been agreed with the Conservation Officer not to strip the topsoil other than for the access track from the gates, but instead to cover the area with a membrane and stone.
As the compound is near St Leonard’s Church of England Primary School, we will ensure no deliveries are made to the compound during the school’s drop-off and pick-up times.
On completion of the work the stone and membrane will be removed, and the topsoil below will be reinstated and reseeded by a specialist contractor. The site will be occupied from now until 30 May 2021, but will be closed over Christmas from 23 December until 4 January.
If you require further information:
If you need any advice or assistance please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Liaison Officer, Barry Birch, on 07818 578502 during the hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.  For emergencies only outside of these times, please contact our Services Helpline on 0344 346 2020.


Secanim (J.L.Thomas Ltd) 

Secanim, the animal waste processing plant have closed in Exeter much to the nasal relief of residents and other businesses for miles around. The Water Lane area is to be developed into housing.
This is very good news for the residents of St Leonards and all those affected by the smells which come from the factory. It's not such good news for those employees of Secanim who will be losing their jobs.
It was always a factory in the wrong place.


Changes to traffic flow and special arrangements for pedestrians in Magdalen Road.

Following the Government’s announcement of a £250 million emergency active travel fund, a series of temporary measures to support public safety are being explored by Devon County Council. These outline the County’s immediate priorities for supporting social distancing on key travel to work routes, city and neighbourhood shopping centres.
The changes have just been reviewed after a 6 month period and the result of a DCC meeting on the 13th October was that the blocking of traffic on Wonford Rd would go forward to consultation to be made permanent, but that the Magdalen Road changes would be 'urgently' reviewed and greater consultation with the traders and the community would take place. The SLNA issued an Opinion Poll which was responded to by just over 1000 people, the results are here.

CONSULTATION. - Statement by DCC.
A public consultation is being held virtually between 25th February and 25th March 2021 to seek views of residents and stakeholders on options for Magdalen Road.
This is an opportunity for the local community to have input into the future of Magdalen Road and co-create a space which best serves all users. We would invite you all to feedback on the options Devon have put forward to consultation and engage in the conversation.
Depending on the results, design for a permanent scheme would be progressed (which may also be subject to further consultation) before then decisions are made on its permanent implementation.


Newtown & St Leonards Community Wellbeing News.

Every month Jayne Leavers, our Community Builder, publishes a newsletter of activities, events, photographs and other community goings-on in our area.
To see her latest Newsletter click here.  


The Hour Glass - A.C.V. application

A group of friends of the very popular and iconic Hour Glass pub in Melbourne Street have got together and applied to Exeter City Council to have the pub listed as an Asset of Community Value. The Localism Act of 2012 had community-loved pubs specifically in mind when it was passed.
The pub freehold is owned by a larger pub group and leased to the present landlords. In these commercailly difficult times a lot of pubs are closing and it is specifically for this reason that the 'locals' are trying to get it listed. An ACV listing would give the locals a chance to buy it if it came up for sale.


Roberts Road Church Hall

Last month the owners, who bought it at auction, submitted a planning application to develop it into three, 2+ bedroom houses.
The reference is:- 20/1139/FUL.
I must say that if the community can’t own or use it as a community hall then this is the next best solution for it. I think that the architects have done a good job in preserving the appeal of the building. There is no chance that the residents will be dirty, bathrooms abound!.
We had feared that it would be allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair that demolishing it would be the only practical solution, thankfully we have been spared that.
We wish the hall and its future inhabitants well.


Bull Meadow - Culvert problem.

You must have been on another planet if you have not noticed the fenced-off area in Bull Meadow Park which has been there for some years now. In Spring time it gets sewn with a wonderfully colourful mix of wild flowers which is the only good thing about it.
There is a “public service water sewer” underneath it which is collapsing and it is owned by South West Water who are challenging their responsibility to repair it and 69 other such sewers throughout Devon. They claim that it is the responsibility of the landowners to repair these sewers, that would mean, in a lot of cases, private residence’s owners would be responsible for the upkeep of the drains beneath them. After much discussion with Water UK who represent sewer companies, a protocol for such occurrences came into force in February this year and Exeter City Council (ECC) is trying to get SWW to follow this protocol.
ECC believe that “it’s fundamentally wrong for private homeowners and the tax payer to take on the responsibility for the failings of a private company who have had the ownership of these sewers for over 40 years and have invested little in their maintenance and upkeep.”
So let’s hope that something gets done about it soon and that the wild flowers can be sewn somewhere else nearby.
At 10/3/2020 a letter was written from Ben Bradshaw, Matthew Vizard, Richard Branston and Carol Whitton (our MP and Labour Councillors) to South West Water on the issue. READ IT.

Rapid Charging  Exeter - 
Residents of St Leonards Road have received a letter from this company telling them that they have applied to DCC for converting four of the nearest parking bays to electric car charging bays. This initiative will install electric vehicle chargers in local neighbourhoods across the city; bringing rapid charging to where it's needed.  It’s powered by 100% solar energy that’s generated in Devon. No EV?  A partnership with Co Cars car club means that in many locations there’ll be an electric car available to hire by the hour or day. Exeter is a green motoring hotspot, with more sales of electric vehicles than anywhere else in the UK.


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