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LDA Design proposes garden bridge in Exeter

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Exeter could get its own garden bridge alongside a range of public realm improvements and 12,000 new homes under plans worked up by LDA Design and the local council 

The Liveable Exeter document published last week outlined a vision to transform the Devon city over two decades from 2020.

Its proposals include 617 homes at West Gate along with ‘a green bridge promoting active travel across the river’. Images show paths criss-crossing a seemingly tree-lined crossing of the River Exe.

Elsewhere, more than 5,500 homes would be built in Marsh Barton, alongside a variety of office space, creating a major new neighbourhood.

Leisure attractions would be expanded near the quay, creating a low-traffic or car-free development ‘with attractive cycle and walking connections’.

Exeter’s medieval city wall would be uncovered and given more prominence. A central park would be enlarged.

LDA director Frazer Osment said: ‘This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to renew the structure of the city so that it can accommodate the sort of change and attract the investment it needs for its communities to prosper in the future. I believe that the strategy reflects exceptional creativity and ambition within the council.’

Exeter City Council chief executive Karime Hassan said: ‘Exeter has a number of challenges, and congestion is one of these. As much as practical, the housing programme will seek to increase density of future housing and provide a range of uses that will make it possible, by design, to travel to facilities by foot and bicycle, and to address the built environment in such a way that an active lifestyle is possible.

‘Emerging thinking from transport planners would aim for 50 per cent of trips within the city to be made on foot or by bike. This complements the city’s aspirations to encourage greater physical activity and become the country’s most active city.’ 

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