Net Zero Heroes:

Exeter Cycling Campaign Volunteers

Active transport in new housing developments


What Do They Do?

Exeter is a growing city, with new housing being built within and on the edge of the city.

It is really important that this development happens in a way that supports the city and county’s strategic vision for an active city which is moving rapidly to becoming net carbon zero.

Sadly too often we see housing Developers proposing schemes which build in car dependency and car dominance. They propose schemes that give little thought to how people can travel around and to/from their housing developments by foot or cycle. Little provision is made for local services and the plans assume people will drive long distances for shopping and leisure.

Volunteers of the Exeter Cycling Campaign work tirelessly to challenge these poor planning designs from developers.

These volunteers engage with the planning processes of Exeter City Council, East Devon and Teignbridge District Councils by:

● reviewing planning applications every week,
● challenging poor proposals and point out where local and national planning policies are being breached
● propose how designs can be improved to better enable active transport.

Sometimes the Campaign’s proposal are as simple as insisting that there is adequate cycle parking at a new student residence. At other times the whole approach to movement and access to a new development needs to be challenged so that there is safe space for people to walk and cycle.

Their Impact

Over the last five years over 150 planning applications have been responded to by Exeter Cycling Campaign volunteers. These responses have improved the built environment and made our city a better place to cycle safely.

We often see Exeter City Council Planning Committee noting the Campaign’s responses. Sometimes these proposals find their way into planning conditions that Developers have to meet.

In small ways the quality of new housing developments is improved.

For example, the junctions and cycle path at Gipsy Hill Lane were greatly improved in design after extensive dialogue with the developers and the council.

The Campaign is now a non-statutory consultee of Exeter City Council.

“Deputy chair of the Planning Committee, speaking at the plenary session of an Exeter City Futures climate crisis event, spoke up to say how much she valued the Exeter Cycling Campaign’s planning responses. She assured us that she reads them all and pays attention to what the Campaign says.”


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