St. Leonards Neighbourhood Association

Below is a list of objections to the Burrington Estates Planning application 19/1047 made by people in the community.

1.     The proposed development, by reason of its design and appearance, will be detrimental to the character of this part of St Leonards and City of Exeter St. Leonards Conservation Area (as extended) designated on 22.03.93 under S.69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. Conservation Area amended on the 18th March 2008 and various additional properties have been added to the order designated by virtue of Planning(Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 Ref:Z16 TLC Ref: CA2063

 The proposed development will be adverse to the above.

 2.     A place to hold a multitude of social activities, the demand for which seems to be ever increasing especially given the Deaf Academy site will be redeveloped soon and will require areas of recreational use. Where do the Local Authority suggest is used?

 The proposed development will be adverse to the above.

 3.     The following schools and clubs have used the field for in excess of 25 years in some cases – St Leonards Primary School, Maynard School, Isca School of English, St Leonards Pre-School, Central Football Club. Many clubs have had to stop offering sporting activities due to Maze Property Consultants not permitting use of the field whilst the proposed development was being discussed so as to avoid setting a precedent for the local authority. However the precedent has already been set by over 25 years use by many schools and clubs for sporting activities. Those named above are unable to find alternative pitches and have had to stop or significantly cull sporting activities which is detrimental to children’s health both physical and mental.

 The proposed development will be adverse to the above.

 4.     Sport England - Local planning authorities are required by law to consult Sport England when they receive planning applications for development affecting playing fields. Sport England has a Playing Fields Policy in place to help it assess such applications, it recognises that access to a network of high quality open spaces and opportunities for sport and physical activity is important for the health and wellbeing of communities.

 The proposed development has not been supported by Sport England given 3 above. 

 5.     Exeter Climate Emergency – policy to make Exeter a Carbon-Neutral City by 2030. The council agree to recognise the connected biodiversity crisis and the vital role in tackling climate change and that road map will set out measures to improve biodiversity, in particular the protection and planting of trees. The development is not carbon neutral and will introduce further cars into the area.

 The proposed development will be adverse to the above.

 6.     From National Planning Policy Framework:-

Local Planning Departments should:-

"92,(a) plan positively for the provision and use of shared spaces, community facilities (such as local shops, meeting places, sports venues, open space, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship) and other local services to enhance the sustainability of communities and residential environments;

97. Existing open space, sports and recreational buildings and land, including playing fields, should not be built on unless:

(a) an assessment has been undertaken which has clearly shown the open space, buildings or land to be surplus to requirements."

 The proposed development will be adverse to the above.

 7.     from Exeter City Council's Physical Activity Strategy Document 2019

"Guiding principles for action:-

1. Build from the bottom up: adopt an asset based community development approach

4. Connect people with physical activity: ensure physical activity opportunities are available and promoted across the life course

2. Why physical activity matters

There is overwhelming evidence that regular physical activity is good for you, for society, the environment and economy. A physically active society will result in reductions in:

• Depression and poor psychological health

• Loneliness and social isolation

•CO2 emissions and reduced congestion.

Physical activity can and should be integrated into the settings in which people live, work and play. Walking and cycling are key means of transportation and enable regular physical activity on a daily basis."

 The proposed development will be adverse to the above.

 8.     Public Health England, "Local authorities play a vital role in protecting, maintaining and improving local green spaces and can create new areas of green space to improve access for all communities. Such efforts require joint work across different parts of the local authority and beyond, particularly public health, planning, transport, and parks and leisure."

 The proposed development will be adverse to the above.

 9.     Parking is a major issue for the area with both East Grove Road and West Grove Road becoming dangerous during school drop off and pick up. The parking situation as evidenced by the proposed plans will eat into yet more parking and cause major safety issues. Children and parent safety must be paramount in the LPA decision.

 10.  Whilst the need for housing is acknowledged, the need is for AFFORDABLE housing, not houses which will cost in excess of 500k and two at over 1m. Any argument this frees up houses down the chain is not correct since the current crisis is for affordable housing. Those purchasing the proposed houses will not be leaving houses those on a low income can then purchase. The rhetoric the developer has stated is not correct in that the only aim is to support the relocation of the deaf academy – it is purely profit motivated. The token ‘communal area’ is just that, a token gesture and the whole site should be used by the local community as it is anything but surplus to requirements.

 11.  The St Leonards Neighbourhood Association has provided a separate plan for use of the site which can be found on its website. Any argument the Deaf Academy will lose money by the site being used for the community is null and void, since a long term lease can be set up providing the Deaf Academy with a long term steady income. All those named in 3, the SLNA, local home owners and the council could work together to create a fund to use, maintain and develop the site for use by the whole community, not just 7 households. Insurances can be put in place for public liability etc. The local community are very supportive of this idea.

 To conclude the one positive of the development – creating 7 new unaffordable homes is far outweighed by the 11 negative impacts listed above.

• The proposal is directly opposed to the principles given in the Council's 2019 strategic plans which promise to promote active and healthy lifestyles, and high-quality green spaces.

• It is similarly in opposition to the aims and the sports field policy of Sport England.

• The proposed provision of no fewer than 23 parking spaces can only increase congestion and pollution in an already crowded zone, particularly bearing in mind the traffic generated by St Leonards Primary School.

• To argue that the site is currently under-used should not be taken to mean that this will necessarily be the case in the future. Clearly the present situation is a temporary hiatus brought about by uncertainty over the site's future.

• The vision put forward by St Leonards Neighbourhood Association offers real and lasting benefit to the community, and the possibility of indoor sports provision is a particularly attractive aspect of this plan.

• The developer's offer of 'a financial contribution' towards affordable housing, while welcome, means little without detailed definition as to amount and location, likewise the payment of a Community Infrastructure Levy. In addition, there is a danger that such payments will be seen simply as an attempt to encourage the Council's granting of the application.