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Find the answers to our most commonly asked questions below:
This has been the toughest year ever for businesses. How will the building work affect my business?
We’re sorry for the incredible difficulties that the pandemic has thrown on so many businesses and we want to do everything possible to ensure that your business benefits from new local residents.
We are committed to keeping you up-to-date with building work plans and discussing with you anything that you are concerned with. Please contact us if you’d like to speak further about this.
Why don’t you put the social housing somewhere else? This neighbourhood is already a trouble spot. Surely it will influence young people in a negative way – they will be drawn back into the drug and alcohol scene.
Our new development is a wonderful opportunity to bring regeneration to an abandoned warehouse and an area that is experiencing regular antisocial behaviour.
The location is an ideal one for young people, many of whom do not have their own transport but require access to the city centre for work and education. Currently, the high rental cost of property in Exeter would prevent them from living in such close proximity to the centre of Exeter and so providing low-cost accommodation in this area is one of the aims of the development.
The young people who will be moving into the area are at varying stages of life, but all of them are engaged in meaningful occupation; some are working, some are studying at college or university, and others are volunteering. They have all passed the high standards expected of them whilst living in previous accommodation at YMCA Exeter and have been accepted onto our tenancy.
As described in the answers above, YMCA Exeter are working closely with the Designing Out Crime team to ensure that our development positively contributes to the local solution to this issue.
Why isn’t YMCA Exeter working with the local council to sort the main homeless problem in this area?
YMCA Exeter is committed to creating supportive, inclusive, and energising communities where all young people can truly belong, contribute, and thrive. The development of Sidwell Studios is in direct response to the need for local young people to be able to move on into independent living, with affordable accommodation.
Our projects are specifically aimed at the prevention of homelessness and intervening early so that that young people do not end up sleeping rough and are provided with a better alternative.
We are saddened by the number of people living rough in Exeter and we support all the work that Exeter City Council and the many charitable organisations are doing to improve the lives of adults living on the streets.
The bins in this area are already overflowing. Have you considered the amount of waste that this development will create?
YMCA Exeter is committed to providing a new robust bin storage that will be available for all the residents as well as for St Sidwell’s Community Centre and the current residents above. This will reduce the number of bins on Acland Rd actively tackling this very issue. As part of the development, we will also build a new secure bicycle store.
The area is currently used by loads of homeless people. How are you going to ensure that unwanted guests don’t get into the building?
Currently the open access nature of the site is contributing to crime and antisocial behaviour. There are no boundaries in place to differentiate between public and private space and very limited CCTV is creating void areas that are regularly being misused.
- Gates will be installed to ensure only those with legitimate access can enter private areas and the shared cycle/bin store.
- A visitor door entry system will allow occupants to see and identify visitors before they’re allowed in.
- Doors and windows to the building will comply with the highest standards to ensure they’re robust and burglar proof.
Yes, we’re working with the Designing Out Crime team to ensure CCTV will support the prevention and detection of crime across the whole site. The new CCTV will cover access-controlled areas, entry/exit points, the cycle/bin store as well as corridors and stairwells.
As part of the development, there will be investment in better lighting across the whole site, so that the landscape, CCTV and lighting work effectively together.
We are working closely with the Designing Out Crime team to ensure there is a uniform level of light throughout the site, internally and externally which will eliminate areas of shadow.
Local businesses and residents are concerned that this development is going to add to the massive problems caused by anti-social behaviour, daytime drinking and drug-taking in Sidwell Street generally and in the grounds at St Sidwell’s.
YMCA Exeter hears the concerns of local businesses and residents and we are committed to bringing regeneration to this area of Exeter. We are working closely with Exeter City Council, the police and the Designing Out Crime team to ensure that everything we do takes into account and tackles the pre-existing issues in the area. We want to ensure we’re listening to everyone impacted by the development, so please contact us to arrange a time to speak in more detail.