Charting a New Course: University of Exeter Invites Public Input on St Luke’s Campus Revitalization

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The University of Exeter is embarking on a transformative journey with the St Luke’s campus, and it’s inviting the public to join the conversation. Nestled between Heavitree Road and Magdalen Road, this historic eleven-acre site has served as a center for learning and research since its establishment as a teacher training college in 1854.

Currently housing the university’s medical school, featuring disciplines such as nursing, biomedicine, sports, and health sciences, St Luke’s campus also hosts the School of Education. The university envisions a redevelopment that strategically amplifies health-related activities, reshaping it into a “health and wellbeing” campus. However, the future location of the School of Education remains an open question.

This vibrant campus, adorned with amenities like a publicly accessible gym and swimming pool, finds itself among the four employment sites outlined in the recently introduced Exeter Local Plan. The university, however, asserts that this designation doesn’t limit potential uses and hints at the inclusion of purpose-built student accommodation in the redevelopment plans.

To ensure a comprehensive and inclusive approach, the University of Exeter has initiated a public consultation. This outreach aims to gather diverse perspectives, contributing to the formulation of an evolving masterplan framework for the site. Bringing in external consultants for expertise, the university plans to unveil this framework early next year, followed by additional rounds of consultations.

With the goal of solidifying the proposal, the university intends to submit the framework to the city council in the spring for what it terms as “endorsement.” This marks a crucial step in the approval process, positioning the framework as a significant consideration in future planning applications. Ultimately, the university envisions the framework being adopted as a new Supplementary Planning Document, in line with the revised Exeter Local Plan.

This redevelopment initiative mirrors a similar effort just over a decade ago when the university conducted a masterplan options appraisal. At that time, bold proposals suggested demolishing and replacing over half of the existing buildings on the site, creating nearly 17,000 square meters of new floorspace. Whether the current plans will echo this ambitious transformation will become clearer in the coming year.

The call for public input underscores the university’s commitment to transparency and inclusivity in the redevelopment process. By seeking the opinions of various stakeholders, including students, faculty, and the local community, the University of Exeter aims to ensure that the future vision for St Luke’s campus resonates with the needs and aspirations of its diverse community.

While the specifics of the redevelopment project maintain an air of mystery, the university’s proactive engagement with the public signals a dedication to responsible and community-oriented urban planning. As St Luke’s campus stands on the precipice of change, the voices collected through this consultation process will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the narrative of its future.

Elliot Preece
Elliot Preece
Founder | Editor Elliot is an experienced journalist manager with a passion for writing. He played a pivotal role in building the News Write Ups website as a web developer and has since been leading the team of journalists to produce high-quality content. With his strong background in writing and web development, Elliot ensures that the website not only functions smoothly but also provides engaging and informative articles for readers.

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