Seven-storey student flats plan resubmitted for site of closed Exeter city centre pub

Plans to redevelop a shut Exeter city centre pub with seven storeys of student flats have been resubmitted – after the time limit for work to begin expired.

Proposals to redevelop The King Billy, in Longbrook Street, were originally approved in October 2017.

The mooted scheme also features a commercial unit and a restaurant/pub at street level, writes Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Clark.

Developer Rengen has had to start the planning process again after its permission expired.

It has now lodged identical blueprints with Exeter City Council.

The former King Billy pub in Exeter. Image: Google Maps

The former King Billy pub in Exeter. Image: Google Maps

An artist's impression of the student flats plan for The King Billy pub in Exeter. Image: Rengen

An artist’s impression of the student flats plan for The King Billy pub in Exeter. Image: Rengen

These are for student accommodation featuring 108 bed spaces over six and seven storeys, along with a retail unit and pub/restaurant on the ground-floor.

The new application states: “The vacant site and existing pub detract from the character and appearance of the area, and appear at odds with the scale, height and massing of the surrounding buildings.

“The local area has seen change through urban renewal and the regeneration of this site should be regarded as a priority.

“The larger site is considered to be highly-suited to the proposed high-density, mixed-use development incorporating town centre and residential uses, by virtue of its city centre location and proximity to tall buildings, namely John Lewis and the four tall buildings at the Longbrook Street/Bailey Street/Paris Street/New North Road junction.

“The proposed development would deliver a high-quality development, which assimilates well within the street-scene and wider townscape.

“There would be no unacceptable loss of historic fabric and the proposal would not harm the setting of any listed buildings or the character or appearance of the neighbouring conservation area.”

The King Billy, with its distinctive octagonal shape, has had a loyal following since it was built in the late 1960s.

Its predecessor, The Horse and Groom, dated back to the 1700s.

The pub closed its doors for the final time in July 2018.

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