FORUM AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT
In 2019, members of the new Pinhoe Village history group raised urgent concerns about the loss of local wildlife and the density and speed of local housing development
A sub-group elected as the Pinhoe Forum began to investigate the neighbourhood planning process with a steering group including representatives from Pinhoe’s community groups, charities and local councillors.
In first meetings with Exeter City Council, officers outlined the considerable demands and difficulties of undertaking Neighbourhood Planning and suggested working with the Council on a project basis instead.
Pinhoe’s boundaries raise problems in defining the neighbourhood area: Pinhoe’s community field and Scout Hut cross into East Devon, residential streets are split in two by the district boundary and Westclyst, considered part of Pinhoe’s community despite being in East Devon, is already part of the Broadclyst Neighbourhood Plan and cannot be included.
The Forum’s Sustainable Travel Group held a public Traffic Meeting in February 2020, to discuss the community’s traffic concerns. Well supported by over 70 local residents, the meeting was also attended by County Councillor Hilary Ackland, Co-Cars and the Exeter Cycling Campaign.
This was followed by a Traffic Survey, completed by more than 160 people locally with over 170 detailed comments (see survey results, here).
Pinhoe Forum began a Community Speedwatch Team between lockdowns which was taken up by the local County Councillor in June 2022; volunteers continue to monitor traffic levels across Pinhoe, building a citizens science evidence base.
In 2021, Pinhoe Forum secured funding from Vision Zero for a mobile Speed Activation unit following consultation which identified residents’ safety concerns in three main areas: Main Road, Tithebarn Way and Harrington Lane. Full survey report here
A month after Pinhoe’s Traffic Meeting, the Covid pandemic became a national emergency. When lockdowns were announced in March 2020, members of both the Forum and Pinhoe Village set up the Community Support Helpline. Quickly established with over 70 volunteers, the Helpline team stepped up to support the community when other local membership organisations were shielding and unable to operate.
Higher Field on Church Hill was threatened with extended development in 2021 and Pinhoe Forum was approached by local residents keen to coordinate a community response. The Forum launched a petition which was supported by over 2100 signatories from across Exeter, triggering the opportunity to present our case for the field’s protection to a full council meeting. Following unanimous support by Council members, Pinhoe’s petition was sent for further examination by the Scrutiny Committee.
Working with Exeter Greenspaces Group (EGG) and local residents, Pinhoe Forum proposed a Ridgeline Park across the Northern Hills, connecting Exeter’s Mincinglake Valley Park to the Clyst Valley Park in East Devon, as an urban nature recovery network. Further info here
Following continuing support for the Community Helpline and a dedicated volunteering team, the Pinhoe Village group is transitioning to a new community enterprise: www.pinhoevillage.org
Pinhoe Forum remains a Forum for Ideas. This public information resource is being developed as a Knowledge Exchange project by Kate Jago, working with the Pinhoe Citizens Panel: researching, commissioning and collecting evidence to inform and support a collective approach to decision-making.