St Luke’s Campus Redevelopment: Our Response to the April Consultation

ECS's response, handed in on 2 May 2024, welcomed the redevelopment masterplan, but raised concerns. The response covered respect for the surrounding area, height & mass of buildings, building design, tree cover and a few other points (pedestrian crossing and traffic calming measures, improved sports facilities, overall reduction in parking spaces).

We can see that the planners have wrestled with competing priorities and concerns and we feel that the draft masterplan benefited from the earlier round of engagement. We hope that this latest round will lead to further improvement.

We recognise that significant effort has gone into considering the impact of the development on Baring Crescent. However, we consider that further thought needs to be given to the height and massing of the taller 5 and 6 storey buildings and the appearance of all of them. The masterplan fails to recognise that the campus is an island in a largely suburban area with domestic architecture and should respect and blend with it, not dominate it.

We recognise that the masterplan is intended to show the position and mass of the buildings. However, they come across in the plan and the model as anonymous rectangular blocks most likely of concrete, insensitive to the architecture around them – particularly Baring Crescent but also elsewhere. Thought should be given to how the new buildings could blend in more – for example by using brick. Reusing the existing brick of the library and College House would also surely be a more sustainable approach than casting new concrete.

The current depiction of the buildings also suggests a lack of imagination. If the aim is to have a world leading centre, the architecture should match it and show great flair. The current plans show nothing comparable with the roofline of the Forum and adjacent buildings on the Streatham Campus.

To read our full response, please visit: https://exetercivicsociety.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ECS-COMMENTS-ON-ST-LUKES-REDEVELOPMENT-2-May-2024.pdf