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Wednesday, 7 August, 2002, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Go-ahead for Exeter's 135m revamp
An artist's impression of the Exeter development plans
The plans include 50 new shops and restaurants
A 135m plan to revamp the centre of Exeter will not be scrutinised by the government.

Campaigners opposed to the redevelopment - which will mean the demolition of 13 acres of the city centre - had hoped Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott would demand a say on the scheme.

But Mr Prescott's department, which has responsibility for some planning issues, says the final decision on the plan will be left to Exeter City Council, which approved the scheme in July.

Supporters of the plan say it will create the best shopping centre in the south west.

Princesshay in the centre of Exeter
Developers hope to attract more shoppers

Exeter People's Choice group was set up to fight the redevelopment plan when it was first submitted four years ago.

Its spokeswoman Catherine Adcock said they would not be giving up the fight to stop the development.

"Our reaction is that this is the death of democracy.

"In barely three weeks since the plans were approved by the city council we have collected 5,000-6,000 names on a petition and sent off more than 2,500 letters.

"We cannot believe that this is right for Exeter. We don't intend to give up. There are other avenues to take and we are going to discuss this with traders in September."

Developers Land Securities hope to start work this November with the new centre open for business by December 2006.

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


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26 Mar 02 | England
01 Feb 02 | England
11 Oct 01 | England
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