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King Billy pub closure makes way for city centre redevelopment

King Billy pub closure makes way for city centre redevelopment

Posted: Wednesday 25 July 2018

Following the submission of fresh plans for student accommodation, development firm Rengen have now successfully completed the purchase of established Exeter city centre pub, the King Billy, and a neighbouring site, off a guide price of £1.5m.

The development, which will see the iconic Longbrook Street pub demolished, was originally planned to house a mix of 124 student bedrooms and commercial units over nine storeys. However, Exeter City Council denied the application proposal, with Rengen forced to submit revised plans.

ECC have now granted planning permission for the development following the approval of the new plans. The site will now see the demolition of the King Billy pub to build a mixed-use development of ground floor commercial units (for classes A1, A3 and A4) with a 108-bed student accommodation above, over a reduced 6 and 7 storeys.

Though Rengen conditionally exchanged on the site in May 2017, commercial property specialists, Charles Darrow, acting for owners, Enlighten Inns, have since overseen the successful completion of the sale.

Charles Darrow Director, Jon Clyne, said “Following the revised plans and their subsequent approval, we’re very pleased to see final completion with Rengen. It’s a sensitive scheme, so it was crucial that the new plans stood up to increased scrutiny from the Council”. 

He continued “The revised plans are a good compromise that work for all parties. We understand that building work is imminent and we’re looking forward to seeing the results.”

The distinctive octagonal building was built in 1968 to replace the former Horse and Groom pub. Undergoing several name changes over the years, it’s been the King Billy since 2007 as a nod to its proximity to King William Street.
Final plans and details for the approved scheme can be viewed in full at