A LONG-awaited community hub in the Pinhoe area of Exeter has been granted planning permission for the second time.

Exeter City Council’s planning committee took little time to re-approve the planned new building on Monday, June 12, after its previous approval from February 2020 lapsed.

The new hub on Station Road will accommodate a range of local services, including a café; new sports changing rooms; two multi-purpose function rooms; office space; washroom facilities and the relocation of the Pinhoe Library.

The existing play area will be relocated further west as part of the build.

Its location is on the edge of several large new housing developments, which will deliver at least 2,500 new homes and increase Pinhoe’s population by 50 per cent.

However, it remains to be seen when work will begin, as full funding is not secured. 

Construction is expected to cost around £2 million, with the city council investing £100,000 in initial business and building plans.

A further £1.2 million of funding from developers was ring-fenced by councillors in November, and the local community aims to raise £765,000 from funders including public, private and grant-making bodies and trusts, and through local fundraising.

Recommending planning approval, an officer’s report stated: “The proposal complies with local and national policies supporting communities, a healthy lifestyle, and protecting the environment and local amenities. 

“It will significantly contribute to the quality of life of Pinhoe residents.”

Local councillor Mollie Miller (Labour, Pinhoe) agreed: “All of the Pinhoe community are very positive about this coming forward. It will be a really important space for the local community.”

The committee approved the application unanimously.