Preliminary proposals for the refurbishment and regeneration of Exeter’s South Street will be discussed by the city’s Executive next week.
A report for councillors highlights South Street as an important part of the city, which is changing as the city centre transforms. The street needs to create its own identity and clarify its function, while acting as an important link between the city centre and the Quay.
Exeter-based Urban Design consultants Lacey, Hickie, Caley were appointed to explore the potential for current and future development of the area, in which Exeter City Council is a major freeholder.
It followed a public consultation on the future of South Street.
Key areas for improvement were identified as creating better access for pedestrians and cyclists, providing better links to the Quay, encouraging more residential and employment use and improving existing building facades.
The proposals are expected to be incorporated into the developing City Centre Strategy.
A report by the consultants outlines a number of “early interventions” which will be explored in consultation with Devon County Council, the highways authority, to produce impact and generate momentum for longer term projects.
- A high-quality and distinctive mobile pop-up café at the top of South Street to act as a focal point.
- Consider closing off selected existing on-street parking bays and allowing use of the street by local traders for external seating
- Increasing the area for the Street Market, utilising parking bays, to create a more spacious and attractive market
- Pop up cafés and seating areas at key locations within closed off on-street parking bays
- Widen the pedestrian-cycle bridge at the entrance to Cathedral and Quay car park and sign this as the route to the Quay
- Consider removing on street parking to Lower Coombe Street and widening the pavement to create a shared foot-cycle way
- Encourage conversion of upper floors to residential or employment use in council-owned buildings
- Consider providing grants for building enhancement – encourage facade and shopfront enhancement to improve the character of the street and increase vertical emphasis and rhythm along the street
- Cathedral & Quay Car Park – enhancement scheme to improve lighting, remove planters which reduce daylight to parking decks, improve signage to decks and directional signage to city centre.
Cllr Rachel Sutton, Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture, said: “South Street is a very important part of the city centre, linking the High Street, Fore Street and the Quay.
”It is clearly in need of some improvement and modernisation, which much of the city centre has experienced in recent years, and these exciting proposals would certainly breathe new life into the area.
“With some imagination and careful planning it is possible to create a thriving retail and residential area, which gives priority to pedestrians and cyclists, and provides much better links to the Quay. I look forward to these proposals progressing.”
The report will be discussed by the council’s Executive committee On Tuesday, October 9. To read it in full access the Executive agenda here: http://committees.exeter.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=112&MId=5309&Ver=4