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Tuesday, 26 March, 2002, 18:12 GMT
Exeter's £135m revamp unveiled
An artist's impression of the Exeter development plans
The plans include 50 new shops and restaurants
Detailed plans for a major £135m redevelopment of Exeter city centre have been unveiled.

Developers hope the rebuilding of the heart of the city will boost spending by £1.5bn as more shoppers are attracted to the new-look centre.

Demolition and construction work for the scheme will take three years to complete.

But some small businesses fear they could be kicked out to make way for the development.

Wide appeal

The plan includes a huge new department store together with 50 new shops, cafés and restaurants alongside apartments.

Developers want to tempt shoppers away from other centres like Bristol and Plymouth.

"The greater pedestrianisation, the varied architecture and the range of uses will appeal to all," said Mike McGuiness of developers Land Securities.

"People won't just come here to shop - they will come here to live, to work and to play, that's a major factor in urban regeneration today."

Princesshay in the centre of Exeter
Developers hope to attract more shoppers
Similar plans to redevelop the city centre were withdrawn two years ago following objections from English Heritage and local conservation groups who claimed the planned buildings would have been too big and the development too destructive.

Josie Dunn, who runs a small clothes shop in the centre of the city, still has doubts.

"I don't want to close the shop because I love what I'm doing," she said.

"I don't want to be sent to a place that I don't want to go to."

If the proposals are accepted by planners then the development could be open for Christmas 2006.

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See also:

01 Feb 02 | England
From cheap side to Eastside
11 Oct 01 | England
Dockland scheme refloated
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