news items

This is a summary of the present news items.

Mount Radford Lawn


Two items of news on MRL.
1. The appeal by ERADE against ECC's decision to list the playing field as an Asset Of Community Value has been dismissed. Hurray! 25/3/21
2. Work being carried out there between November 2020 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 asked for your views on their 5 different options.
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 Arguments 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 

Buckerell Lodge - changes afoot


To be demolished and a Residential Home built on the site if ECC Planning allows. 

Bull Meadow


The sinking culvert problem

Roberts Road Church Hall


Plans to develop and now on the market. 

Tuesday Tables


Communities across Devon are being encouraged to re-house every-day items they no longer need simply by leaving them outside their front door every Tuesday, starting April 6.
The new initiative is called ‘Tuesday Tables’ and is part of Recycle Devon’s commitment to help residents reduce the amount of waste we throw away.
Tuesday Tables encourages people to pass on items they no longer need so that they can be used by someone that may benefit.

Cygnet Theatre - our local live theatre


Whats On and Upcoming Shows in the 40th Anniversary season 2021

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




We applied to have MRL listed as an "Asset Of Community Value", Exeter City Council did so.
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.  
On 13/8/2020 ERADE took ECC's decision to a First Tier Tribunal, the appeal took place 'on screen' in January 2021 and on the 24th March 2021 we heard that the judge's decision was to dismiss their appeal.
A couple of paragraphs from the judge's ruling were as follows; 

"117. I am satisfied that the Land has the potential to be more widely used as a playing field for activities and is suitable for the location of a low-impact community building associated with outdoor playing field facilities and indoor community activities. It is realistic to suppose that the Land could be used for fetes, fairs, concerts, film nights, sports days, competitions and shows throughout the year and thereby further the social wellbeing and social interests of the local community.
118. I found Mr Fitzhugh to be pragmatic and determined and his written and oral evidence demonstrated that he and the SLNA Committee have given serious thought and planning to the realisation of a future continued community use of the Land."

We will be asking for discussions with ERADE as to how the future of the land can be determined to the benefit of both our charities.

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.


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 has been held virtually between 25th February and 25th March 2021 to seek views of residents and stakeholders on options for Magdalen Road.
This was 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. 
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.
The 'Traffic Matters' pages on this website have more information including your chance to design your own St Leonards traffic flow.


Newtown & St Leonards Community Wellbeing News.

Every month Jayne Leaver, 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.  


Buckerell Lodge redevelopment plan.

McCarthy Stone plan to demolish the existing hotel building and build a 64 apartment residential home for those aged 60 and above.
Their proposals follow a similar ‘U’ shaped footprint as the existing building to ensure the retention and enhancement of the majority of the mature trees throughout the site and to respect the neighbouring amenity. They are also committed to delivering an environmentally friendly and sustainable development, and will be incorporating energy efficient design measures and renewable energy technologies into their proposals as they progress.
There is a public consultation underway which lasts until the 23rd March, but planning permission has not yet been applied for.
To see more details click here.


Roberts Road Church Hall

The owners, who bought it at auction for £411,000, submitted a planning application to develop it into three, 2+ bedroom houses.
The permission has been granted.
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.
The property is now (23/4/21) on the market for £550,000. The agent is Robert Williams,
see the details.
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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