Our City

At the start of the 21st century Exeter has a population of 118,000 (2011 national census), a 36% increase over the past 50 years (since the 1961 census). And a further 20% growth is projected through to the 2020s with the construction of a further 12,000 homes. The population of Exeter could increase by a further 25,000 people by 2030.

As developments come forward the Society scrutinises and comments upon them, sending our response to the appropriate Council in an endeavour to ensure Exeter’s development is of the very highest standards. Planning applications can be viewed on the City Council’s website.

We also take an interest in developments on our boundaries where a further 1,000 homes are planned to the east of Pinhoe in East Devon, and 2,000 homes south of Alphington in Teignbridge District. Planners tell us that Exeter’s expansion is driven by a desire for economic and commercial development, both within the City and to the east, and for each job an additional home should be built to support the expansion of the workforce.

Much of the commercial development is taking place outside the City boundary with the construction of a Science Park to the east of the M5 and Skypark to the north of Exeter airport.  Further information can be found on the website of the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point Partnership, and Exeter City Council Local Plan website

In 2016 Exeter City Council announced that they will be working with East Devon, Mid Devon and Teignbridge District Council on development principles for a new Greater Exeter Strategic Plan which will help control development across the four council areas. This is in recognition that Exeter is the primary area for investment and employment, but the city has run out of land for further development. Further development to support the city must therefore be in the neighbouring district areas, and in accordance with these councils’ duty to co-operate, this spatial strategy plan is being developed for the period up to 2040. Further information can be found here .