Planning applications and imagining alternatives

There doesn’t seem to be a week goes by without the announcement of a proposed development in St Loyes, or that will affect St Loyes. At the moment I can think of the following, at various stages of approval:

  1. McCarthy & Stone off Russell Way near Tesco – DevonLive 13 Mar 2018
  2. Retail on the Tesco car park overflow – DevonLive 12 Feb 2018
  3. More retail at Moor Exchange off Honiton Road, just outside the ward – DevonLive 30 Jan 2018
  4. Retail on the north end of the Police headquarters at Middlemoor – DevonLive 16 Feb 2018 and 15 May 2018
  5. Yet more retail on the Western Power Distribution sites off Honiton Road – DevonLive 6 Mar 2018 (handy map of 3-5) and 28 Mar 2018

But what do we really want to see on our doorsteps? Green spaces are great for our mental health. So how can we keep and cherish the pockets of green left in St Loyes?

Maybe that green space off Russell Way should be kept, as a boost to biodiversity, a scrubber of air pollution, and (with access rights) a nice place to walk.

Do we need all of that out-of-town retail, and the extra traffic that goes with it? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a ‘village centre’, with local independent shops and cafés, a post office, and a community hub?

What about building office space for social enterprises on the Tesco car park? It’s convenient for rail and bus, the mixed land use should mean fewer journeys, and there’ll be a nice green space to have lunch breaks.

“Minecraft my home” can help you imagine all these things  and ask what if? questions. You can now explore a re-creation of St Loyes in Minecraft, and experiment with buildings and transport.

Here’s how Mark from Exeter City Futures imagined a branch office on the Tesco car park could look.

Exeter City Futures branch office