Councillors in Exeter have highlighted plans to progress the long-awaited redevelopment of the city’s bus station site.
At an Extraordinary Meeting at the Guildhall on Thursday night, they backed a recommendation to close the existing bus station by the end of February 2018 at the latest.
Passengers will be dropped off and picked up on street during the closure, which will allow for a new bus station and major new leisure complex to be built.
The City Council plans to re-tender for a contractor to build these projects, which it is funding, next spring. Work could start in the winter of 2018, with the new facilities opening to the public at the end of 2020.
The Council will investigate options for the rest of the site after its previous development partner, Crown Estate/TH Real Estate, recently announced it was no longer able to proceed with its plans for a major retail and leisure development at the site.
Addressing the meeting, City Council leader Pete Edwards said: “I want to say right now that our commitment to building a new leisure centre and new bus station is as strong as ever.
“Redeveloping this site has been Council policy for the last 20 years. It has taken this administration to get the plans this far, and it will be this administration that delivers it.
“That is one thing we can all be certain about.”
He added: “We are very proud of the design of the new leisure centre and new bus station, and we won’t be changing that.
“We will then look to re-tender next spring to find a contractor, with work on the leisure centre and bus station starting in the winter of 2018.
“We will be looking for new development partners for the longer term, and I know we have already been contacted by interested parties.
“I think the site lends itself to a mixed use development including offices, housing, retail, cafes and restaurants with some public open space.”