Our email address is: info@exeterstjamesforum.org



Calling ALL Members to speak out for our Neighbourhood Plan

Conversion of Clock Tower Hotel to 18 bed Student HMO? - Here we go again!

A new planning application 17/1596 to change this hotel into an 18 bed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), is currently at the public consultation phase. The Planning Statement (eg at 7.25) makes it clear that the proposed HMO is intended for students.

There has been some confusion over dates but the case officer, Laura Dymond, has confirmed that the current public consultation period will end on 4 January 2018, not 28 December as neighbours of the Hotel had been advised previously.

This application follows the withdrawal of a similar application in March, to which the Forum, and many of you, had objected. Thank you for doing so; it seems safe to assume that the nature and number of objections, including from our councillors, led to a change of mind of the planning officer involved, and hence to the withdrawal by the applicant.

The planning officer stated in her final report on that application, that '...it is considered that the applicant has not provided sufficient justification for a departure from the adopted Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan.'

The new Planning Statement on behalf of the applicant attempts to argue that the proposals are in full accordance with Exeter's Development Plan, - which includes St James Neighbourhood Plan (SJNP)!

We must not stand by and allow such false claims to go unchallenged! If each Forum member writes to object, together we will strengthen the hand of the Planning Officers to refuse this application.

Numbers Count! Please write to object to this proposal that would see a very large HMO that would cause further community imbalance. You may wish to pick up additional reasons to object, (take care to follow the guidance provided on the Council's planning pages to ensure you confine your objections to those factors that are permissible) but your objection will add to the number count whether you mention one reason for objection or many. Planning Officers take the relative numbers of letters of objection or support into consideration when reaching their recommendation. Your letter really will count!

If you are opposed to this application, make sure you state 'Objection' when you write your comment and provide the application number 17/1596. You may submit your comment online, or by sending an email or a letter to the Case Officer, laura.dymond@exeter.gov.uk. Clear instructions are provided on the Council website here.

If you wrote to object to the previous application for change of use of the hotel to an 18 bed HMO and your views remain the same, you may wish simply to resubmit the comment you made last time. This may be found here under 'comments and objections'. Don't forget to change the application number though!

Please make it a New Year resolution you DO keep! Send in your objection by 4 January to make it count.

It's also not too late (despite what the ECC website says) to object to the application (17/16/VOC) to create an additional 24 beds at the football club student development. Send your objections to: paul.jeffrey@exeter.gov.uk


Queen's Crescent Garden is chosen as a venue for Art Week Exeter (AWE) 2018!

Theatre-maker and dramaturg Hugh McCann won the community's vote in October for a project for a piece of public art for AWE 2018 which will run from 22 – 28 May 2018 and has chosen Queen's Crescent garden as the venue.

Hugh has been liaising closely with some of the members of QCG project group, and more lately with the University and student Guild, to discuss and develop his ideas. He would now like to reach out to all our Members to hear your comments and suggestions. He has written an Open Letter that has been uploaded to the website. Do take a read and get in touch with Hugh if you wish. If you are interested in contributing to the project please see the Open Invitation.

This project seems well-suited to QCG and, assuming all goes well with the Council's final General Vesting Declaration phase of the Compulsory Purchase Order, it will serve to bring the focus of the community to this precious space, our much-needed community hub, as we prepare to celebrate the signing of the Lease.

Coffee Morning and Cake Sales swell the Legal Costs fund.

Thanks to Anne Jobson who opened her house for a Coffee Morning on 9 December. A further £126 was added to swell the legal costs fund, and some further donations have resulted from the reminder that we still have some way to go to repay the total that was kindly loaned to us at the time. Thanks to all who contributed or attended! Please keep thinking of ways to help reduce the outstanding amount.


Successful Sixth Forum AGM 

Acting Chair, Robyn Connett, welcomed Members and Associate Members, including new County Councillor Su Aves, to the meeting held at St Sidwell's CofE Primary Shool on Wednesday 5 July. Robyn spoke briefly to the full and comprehensive report of the Steering Group's activity during the year (click here to read) raising awareness of the wide range of issues that the SG had addressed.

Matters covered included the monitoring and defence of the Neighbourhood Plan, the initiation and support of projects, identified by the community to enhance St James as a great place to live and work, and work in liaison with outside groups or organisations both local and national. The anticipated launch of our next project, Street Tree Planting, to be led by Beth Osment was well received. An update was provided on the Residents' Parking Permit campaign, initiated following October's 'Have Your Say' meeting by member Phil Davies, and discussed on 4 July by DCC's Highways and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC), with the news that both Cllr. Percy Prowse and Cllr. Su Aves would be forming a working group with Traffic Management Team Manager, Chris Rook, to resolve the issues and report back to the next HATOC meeting. A vote of thanks was given to Jill Owen who had worked very hard for the community over her 4 years as our County Councillor before retiring in May, and had given much appreciated excellent advice and support to the SG including the Forum's projects.

A new Constitution that importantly had been drafted in consultation with our residents' associations was adopted and will provide an effective framework for the next phase of the Forum’s life (click here to view). 

It was with great pleasure that a nomination for Chairman, the first in two years, had been received and Anne Jobson was duly elected for the coming year. Robyn announced her retirement as Membership Officer and was warmly thanked for her unstinting work for the Forum and particularly for her management of the SG during the last two years. The following people were elected:

SG Officers:
Anne Jobson: Chairman
Annette Plaut: Treasurer
Dave Treharne: Minute Secretary

SG Members:
Susie Bower
Robyn Connett
Gaynor Carr
Paul Layton
Dan Maxwell

Draft minutes of the AGM are available here.

The AGM followed a presentation 'Looking to the Future - St James as Part of the City of Exeter' by Frazer Osment, Director of LDA-Design and landscape architect specialising in urban regeneration, and importantly for the Forum, a member, resident in St James, who has acted as adviser to the Steering Group since the concept of a neighbourhood plan for St James emerged in 2011.

Frazer explained his vision for the City that would see the needs of individual communities given much more prominence for the well-being of the whole. He referred to the historical settlement arrangement of self-sufficient villages around the City advocating an approach that returns to the idea of identifiable sustainable 'villages', such as St James, each with their own identity and unique character but inter-connected with the City Centre and each other.

           click here for the background to this appeal






Welcome to the Exeter St James Forum website where we bring you news, features, information and announcements about a Neighbourhood Plan to enhance the area in which we live.

The Government has introduced new planning policies which have given more power to local people. The Localism Act was given Royal Assent in November 2011 and communities are being encouraged to prepare neighbourhood plans to influence what happens in their area.

A group of residents’ associations and individuals, representing most parts of St James, joined forces as the Exeter St James Forum with the aim of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the ward. Following a two year process the Plan received a 'Big Yes Vote' in a referendum on, 2 May 2013. The now fully adopted plan sets out a vision for St James and our priorities for the future. Exeter City Council and Devon County Council will take the plan into account when making planning and development decisions. The plan should also help the community to secure funding for projects to improve the area. Find out more.

 The three key priorities are...  


If you would like to become involved in the Exeter St James Forum or would like to be kept up-to-date through the mailing list please CLICK here.

Our Email address is – info@exeterstjamesforum.org 

See the full list of our associates...

The information on this website is offered in good faith. 


LATEST ISSUE View/Download a PDF of About St James issue 6, December 2017

About St James issue 5. May 2017

About St James Issue 4, December 2016

About St James Issue 3, April 2016

About St James Issue 2, September 15

About St James Issue 1



To adverise your business here and support the high profile Queen's Crescent Garden Project please get in touch CLICK. Just £50 a year! Includes a link to your website and insertion in "About St James"  the joint Trust/Forum newsletter delivered twice a year to every household in St James


WELL, WELL, WELL..Find out more about the ancient holy well discovered in Well Street

Visit the Devon and Cornwall Police website page for St James


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the St James’ Forum on 14th June 2014 



Following on from a Big Yes vote for Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan on 2nd May 2013, the Plan was officially adopted by Exeter City Council on 16 July 2013. Find out more in Newsletter 18

The Plan now forms part of Exeter’s statutory development plans and the policies it contains will be used to help determine planning applications.

Congratulations from Nick Boles MP & Right Hon Don Foster MP CLICK

See the Neighbourhood Plan Main Document   CLICK