Exeter sports centre could be demolished to make way for new homes

The closed Clifton Hill Sports Centre in Exeter will be demolished and replaced with 11 flats and 33 houses under plans revealed today.

A report to next Tuesday’s Exeter City Council Executive meeting outlines the council’s plans for the site in Newtown.

Councillors will be asked to recommend to full council to loan Exeter City Living, the council’s own house building company, an unspecified amount of money to enable them to purchase the Clifton Hill site and progress with the development of 44 new homes in the city.

The site at Clifton Hill will be redeveloped it 11 flats and 33 houses, including car parking and new access, on the brownfield site of the rifle range and derelict Clifton Hill Sports Centre.

The proposed development on the site would maintain access to the golf range and ski slope behind, neither of which would be affected by the scheme, and the green space would also be saved from development.

A development appraisal, attached to the agenda, demonstrates the site would be commercially viable for Exeter City Living, and that 25 per cent of the homes provided would be affordable.

Subject to approval by council, the entire scheme could be finished by March 2021. A timetable of development outlines that the design and planning phase could be complete by August 2020, demolition of the derelict Clifton Hill Sports Centre by October 2020, the construction phase by February 2021, and the completion of the development by March 2021.

It adds: “The development site is an exciting opportunity to create homes in a residential area only 0.5 miles away from the city centre. The development can be delivered circa 24 – 27 months from approval to proceed and will generate an estimated profit of 20 per cent to the Council.”

The report of David Bartram – Director, Environment & City Management, to the executive, adds: “The proposed development at Clifton Hill will be on the brownfield site of the rifle range and derelict Clifton Hill Sports Centre, helping to rejuvenate the area and remove the ongoing liability of the closed sports centre.

“The development of 44 new homes is in accordance with Exeter City Council’s vision of high density, high quality, and environmentally sustainable homes. Of these new homes, 11 will be affordable homes which means the development will be affordable housing policy compliant when you take account for the available Vacant Building Credit.

“A profit of 20 per cent is forecast for the development. This would be a good financial return for Exeter City Living and would aid the financial prosperity of the company, while also potentially boosting dividends to its sole Shareholder, Exeter City Council.

“Building 44 new homes contributes directly to our Building Great Neighbourhoods programme. We are striving to ensure that every resident has a home which is secure, healthy and affordable. The location of this development which is within walking distance of a wide range of local services means that it is sustainable and will promote an active and healthy lifestyle.”

When they meet next Tuesday, the Executive are asked by Mr Bartram to recommend that the full council when they meet the following Tuesday approve loaning Exeter City Living money to purchase Clifton Hill and developed 44 new homes in the city. The amount that the loan would be is not provided in the public documents and is the subject of two Part II items, to be discussed with the press and public excluded, due to the commercial confidentiality.

At the start of 2019, the council contentiously voted include all of the land at Clifton Hill as part of the site to be marketed for a mixed residential development.

That decision though was reversed in July as a result of the progression of Liveable Exeter Garden City – the city’s housing vision for creating around 11,500 new homes in the city over the next 20 years.

The current proposals would see the front part of Clifton Hill on the sports centre site built out, but the ski slope, the golf driving range, and the green space will not be built on.

Clifton Hill Sports Centre

Plans for the sports centre site.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus lead three people to safety during flat fire

 

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