Redeveloping the CBD: A case study of Exeter's Princesshay

Concerns about the redevelopment of Princesshay

Many people welcomed the Council's plans for the redevelopment, some did not. Posts on a local forum here and here (closed thread from 2004) showed a mixed reaction from local people.

Friends of the Earth were particularly opposed, listing their objections on their website.

There were concerns about the visual impact of a major city centre redevelopment on the historical buildings in Exeter, the most important of which is the cathedral.

CathedralExeter Cathedral

Beneath the High Street is a network of unique medieval passageways dating from the 14th century. Easily damaged, they had to be protected during any redevelopment of Princesshay.


Exeter Underground Passages

Archeologists were concerned that new buildings in Exeter would result in the permanent loss of historical artifacts dating back to Saxon times.

A new plan for Princesshay

Faced with the rejection of the shopping mall, and the concerns of local people, Land Securities turned to different architects and came up with a plan that moved away from the mall concept and proposed a set of brand new buildings that would look down over new pedestrianized streets. The scheme called for mixed land use, including shops restaurants and cafes, residential apartments and better facilities for tourists, as well as the conservation of the historic City Wall dating from Roman times. The main focus was to revitalize the CBD, in other words to make it a more exciting and interesting place to be, without any detriment to the historical heart of Exeter and the existing High Street shops.

artists impression

Artists impression of the proposed Roman Walk showing the old city wall (© Land Securities)

How was the CBD to be revitalized?- find out on the next page

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