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No plans to sell land at Bull Meadow Park, Council reveals

Published: 1 July 2019

Council Leader Phil Bialyk speaking in Bull Meadow Park

A proposal to sell part of a city park to create access for vehicles at a proposed new housing development is set to be ruled out by the City Council.

Exeter Homes Trust had requested that the council sells a section of Bull Meadow Park to create a turning point for cars to access new homes as part of the proposed £9m redevelopment of Fairpark Almshouses.

The Council previously announced it was considering a request to sell the freehold of 130 square metres of land to the developer, subject to a successful planning application for the development at the bottom of Magdalen Road, overlooking Bull Meadow Park.

But Council Leader Phil Bialyk said he wanted to keep the current open green space after carefully considering representations from residents and councillors.

Cllr Bialyk said: “Good space like this is at a premium, and to inch away at it is not the best policy. Of course we want to provide houses for people, and we will have those discussions. But I’m not minded to sell this - I want to keep it as open space.

“A lot of local people have made representations and the local councillors here in Newtown and St Leonards have worked very hard on their behalf to get that message across.

“We have said that this new Labour administration will be listening to people, and we will make changes where we can make changes. I don’t want to make a mistake just because it is what we said we would do.”

He added: “I want to listen to people in Exeter and work with people in Exeter. That’s the best way forward. I want Exeter to thrive, I want it as the place to be. I just can’t stand by and watch this space go, because once it has gone it has gone forever.

“We’ve listened and we intend to listen. But listening is a two-way street. There will be times when I will be asking residents in Exeter to listen to what we are proposing, for the good of Exeter.”

Bull Meadow Park features a range of mature trees, a separate play area for young children and green open space.

The announcement on Bull Meadow follows the decision last month to maintain the open green space at Northbrook Approach golf course, off Topsham Road.  Cllr Bialyk said there were no plans to sell or build on the golf course, which features around 200 mature trees.

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