Mary Arches Street, Exeter


Demolition of two opposing buildings, one which was previously a popular spot for live music, will make way for two contemporary student blocks to support the growth of a thriving University of Exeter. Working with T2 Architects on both sites CSA was first involved in the Quintana Gate project in 2015, providing baseline ecological surveys, follow up bat surveys and consultation with the RSPB regarding birds. Consent was granted by Exeter City Council in 2016. CSA were then able to provide technical support for a BREEAM Assessment in 2016 to attain the 90% of credits targeted for ‘Land Use and Ecology’ to contribute towards an ‘Excellent’ Rating for the development. Ecological Enhancements include a green roof, modern bat and swift boxes to fit with the urban setting, and inclusion of wildlife friendly landscape planting in the communal spaces.

In 2017, CSA were asked again to assist the team with another application comprising a 31-bed student housing scheme and communal facilities in place of the former ‘Mama Stones’ club in Mary Arches Street. We undertook preliminary ecology assessments together with dusk and pre-dawn bat surveys which confirmed that no bats were roosting in the building. This second scheme was recently approved, subject to one planning condition which requires the provision of additional bat roosting and swift nesting opportunities. These will further support the wildlife provisions of the Quintana Gate development, opposite, to support declining swift populations by encouraging new colonies in the city and giving positive biodiversity benefits in Exeter.