2023 AGM Update

2023 AGM Update

The AGM held on 6 June was attended by 29 members including Board Members Robyn Connett (Chair), Paul Layton (Secretary), Rebecca Bower (Treasurer), Harry Temple and Beth Osment. A further 17 members appointed a Proxy.

Robyn welcomed members to the meeting and spoke to various aspects of the Annual Report concentrating particularly on the Queen’s Crescent Garden regeneration project. It was noted that although the present climate was not conducive to raising funds necessary for the next phase of the redevelopment, the Board was pursuing the belief that St James had not received its fair share of the neighbourhood portion of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) due under the Localism Act.

Following the dissolution of the Exeter St James Forum the Trust had taken on the role of defending the Neighbourhood Plan and was recognised by the Council as a consultee in respect of planning issues. The Board regularly monitored planning applications and provided relevant responses and commentary where appropriate.

After questions from members the Annual Report was adopted, and the accounts approved. Retiring Board member Beth Osment was thanked for her work and Paul Layton was re-elected as a Director.


After refusal of planning permission for a 26 bed PBSA on this site a new application has been submitted by the owner (23/0583/OUT). At first sight this is much more acceptable being for 7 two-bedded and 2 one-bedded flats. However only outline permission is sought which, if granted, could ultimately allow the development of the premises for student occupation. The Trust believes this to be the owner’s intention.

We urge residents concerned about community balance in St James to respond to this application and request restrictive conditions are placed on any permission granted to ensure there is no subsequent change of use to any form of student housing. The deadline for comments is 18 June.

Read the Trust commentary on this application here