The Exe Valley Plan
The Exe Valley Plan
An outlook of the Exe Valley around Tiverton
Extracts from the Exe Valley Plan al local community plan which in the main has been abandoned by Council
The Exe Valley Plan was the outcome of two years hard work by members of the local communities living in the Exe Valley, from Morebath and Oakford in the north to Silverton in the south, and from Poughill in the west to Halberton and Sampford Peverell in the east. Near the centre of this disparate area is the Market Town of Tiverton, the focal point for the Market and Coastal Town initiative for the area.
The communities across
this area show very different characteristics and have distinctive
issues and needs. Yet, the representatives have worked together to
highlight the needs and opportunities facing the area, and to develop a
vision, goals and strategies that will sustain and enhance the quality
of life for all those living in the Exe Valley over the next twenty to
The process started with some ‘blue sky’ thinking to catch the imagination of local residents and involve them in the process of lateral thinking about the future of an area that was once the heart of Devon¹s kersey industry and then a national leader in machine-made lace. These industries were superseded by industrial fabrics. This industrial base, although shrunken, is still with us.
The plan looks at recent technological developments and how these could be used to improve marketing local products, to create new employment opportunities. It considers the educational needs of both our young people and the new skills that adults need to acquire. It looks at a variety of ways in which the natural features and strengths of the Exe Valley might be used as an economic driver that is sensitive to conservation and local needs.
The plan process has generated a wide variety of projects that embody strategies identified by each themed group to move from the present situation towards the vision. These are presented in tabulated form, along with key information relating to timespan, partners, potential funders and prioritisation based on the stage of development of the project. The themes are explored in the section covering the work of the Focus Groups. Each group adapted the main vision to their area of study and developed focused goals and strategies which they embodied in a variety of projects.
The North Devon link road, A361, is a main artery running almost east west across the widest extent of the area, giving what were once some of the most remote villages in the area quick access to the M5 and the national motorway network. Tiverton itself has benefited considerably from the construction of this road, and much of the current expansion of the town is now taking place on its northern edge, infilling the land to the south of the A361.
Tiverton is an attractive and traditional market town which is steadily developing. It is the major settlement of the area, and the Plan highlights its central location in the South West region. Rather than being consigned to the role of a roundabout that watches opportunity pass by, Tiverton plans to be the centre of opportunity, both tangibly and in virtual terms, generating new wealth and ensuring that it does not degenerate into a dormitory town for Exeter, Taunton and Bristol. Tiverton wishes to keep both its residents and employment as local as possible. Well-planned sustainable development will mean that the most-prized features of the Exe Valley will be recognisable and enhanced, while new features will improve the quality of life of local residents and stamp the characteristics of a new age on the area