Exeter City Council appoint new director

Ian Collinson is the new Director of City Development at Exeter City Council. He is responsible for all of the Council’s Planning Services, as well as leading the ambitious Liveable Exeter initiative.

Ian is a Chartered Town Planner and has spent 30 years in planning, always with a local government focus. He joins the Council from Homes England, the government’s housing delivery and regeneration agency, where he spent nine years.  

Ian said: “At Homes England I did a lot of things in Exeter, working with colleagues and partners to drive the market and help build more homes across the city and sub-region.

“So I have got to know Exeter well and that will obviously help me, so it feels like I’m going full circle, and coming home to local government. For me that’s really important because I think I can really make a difference, working for a great city and its people – for me that’s what it is all about.”

One of Ian’s priorities is to help shape a new Local Plan for Exeter – ‘The City Plan’.

He said: “Exeter has a fantastic vision – By the time they are an adult, a child born in Exeter today will live in a city that is inclusive, healthy and sustainable.

“The City Council and all of Exeter’s institutions are working together to deliver that. So we need a plan, and part of my job will be to lead the team to develop our new City Plan.

“The City Plan will touch the lives of everyone living, working, studying and visiting Exeter, so everyone needs to own it and have a say.  Later this year we’ll be reaching out to all of our communities and businesses with a draft Plan,” added Ian.

“Also, Exeter can’t do this on its own. We’ll need to work with our neighbours and Devon County, as well as government. So, I’ll be talking to lots of people over the next few months.

“Liveable Exeter is ambitious and will help deliver our vision by building 12,000 new homes across the city over the next 20 years, mainly on brownfield sites. Liveable will anchor the City Plan and is the brilliant alternative to building in Devon’s beautiful countryside.”

“But this doesn’t mean business as usual housing. Liveable needs to be transformational, creating vibrant mixed use neighbourhoods. We’ll need to build homes at higher densities which are NetZero, provide walkable and wheelable streets with fewer cars and high quality public spaces with plenty of trees and room for nature.”

Outside of work Ian, originally from Middlesborough, is a big Boro fan. “I’ve also started watching Exeter City and I’m very conscious that I’m coming to a city that is vested in rugby, so I’ll be hoping to see the Chiefs soon,” he said.

“I’m a big reader, and love history and culture – Exeter is a UNESCO City of Literature and has a rich history dating all the way back to the Romans. You can see this wherever you walk in the city. So for sport, culture and literature and planning, Exeter is a great place to be,” he added.

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