Sustainable Growth - Exeter and East Devon Growth Point

Sustainable Growth

Sustainable Growth image

Sustainable Growth image

Sustainable Growth image

At the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point sustainability is at the very heart of everything we do and describes the essence of what makes our vision different.

Sustainable growth in Exeter and East Devon is about building a complete package for economic growth, creating places that will stand the test of time and shaping new communities where people will want to live and work for generations to come.

We are committed to building homes close to where there are job opportunities, to providing community and social infrastructure such as, sports and leisure facilities that will help new communities form right from day one.

Built into this vision are parks, open spaces, public transport links, and all our developments will aim to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Government's zero carbon targets. 

In short, our aim is to create a total package with all the necessary ingredients to develop growth in a way that is truly sustainable on every level.

Green Space in the Growth Point

Green Infrastructure is the network of green spaces in your community or work place. Some are private, such as gardens, railway verges, rivers and woodlands. Whilst some are public, like parks, paths and playing fields.

They are places to relax, socialise,exercise, grow food and travel sustainably. They also have benefits that we perhaps take for granted, like clean air and water,and protection from flooding. They are often havens for wildlife.

The Clyst Valley Regional Park will be the new green lung between Exeter, Cranbrook and Exeter Science Park.  Developing a 10km commuting and recreational trail would bring economic, social and health benefits to people who live and work in the east of Exeter area. You can help create the Clyst Valley Trail by contacting

‘In greener settings, we find that people are more generous and sociable. There is a greater sense of community,more mutual trust and willingness to help others’ Professor Frances Kuo

Growing the Green Network

The green network is being made stronger through actions taken by the public, private and charitable sector: 

  • In Exeter, 30% of people now walk to work and 1 in 5 student’s cycle to secondary school, which is ten times the national average!
  • Swifts and sparrows have new homes thanks to Exeter City Council’s award-winning Residential Design Guide.
  • Redhayes Bridge – sustainably linking the heart of the city with new communities at Cranbrook and employment centres at Science Park and Skypark
  • Devon Wildlife Trust and other organisations are helping to make Exeter a "Wild City".


Cranbrook Forest School - Image James Millar












Government Targets

The Government has set some tough targets for the reduction of carbon emissions from new buildings.

The Code for Sustainable Homes is the new national policy which sets out the requirements for the reduction in of CO2 emissions and measures the sustainability of a new homes against nine categories. The Code uses a one to six star rating system to communicate the overall sustainability performance of a new home; six is carbon neutral.

For non residential buildings it is equally as important to design the buildings to a high standard, creating buildings that are sustainable with a locally distinctive design, good layout, and with a range of high quality open spaces and street types.

BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) which is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe a building's environmental performance.

BREEAM assesses buildings against a set criteria and provides an overall score which will fall within a band providing either a; PASS, GOOD, VERY GOOD, EXCELLENT or OUTSTANDING rating.

To achieve these targets Exeter and East Devon Growth Point commissioned Element Energy to undertake an analysis of CO2 emissions in the Growth Point up to 2020.

The study concluded that each development would need to assess their energy provisions individually, but for larger sites a District Heating scheme would be the most cost effective way to achieve a higher code for sustainability: a district heating scheme is a locally situated combined heat and power plant providing lower energy bills and constant hot water, fuelled by locally sourced wood fuel.

These rating and codes for sustainable homes, have informed the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point Strategy.

Sustainability Strategy

The sustainability strategy for the Growth Point contains several key commitments:

These include designing and building all dwellings to the Government's "Code for Sustainable Homes" Level 4 and above and for non residential developments to the at least BREEAM rating "Very Good".

These ratings signify a commitment to the use of renewable energy, waste and recycling provisions and providing a hierarchy of travel options from walking, cycling and public transport before the private car.

Our targets include:

Producing 16.7% of the new community's energy from renewable sources

Producing 10% of non residential development's energy from renewable sources

Through pooled resources and partnership working we are able to offer a holistic approach to our sustainability strategy to ensure a coordinated approach to growth across the whole growth area.

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