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Controversial park and ride plans scrapped - for now

Controversial plans to build a £6 million park and ride scheme on the outskirts of a Devon village have been scrapped by the council.

Residents of Ide, near Exeter, overwhelmingly rejected the scheme in a historic poll. The £1,000 referendum saw villagers vote four to one against the proposals.

Picturesque Ide village Credit: ITV West Country

Devon County Council wanted to build a 550 space carpark on land near Ide, claiming it would relieve traffic problems into the city.

But opponents were worried it would reduce the green belt, and cause noise pollution.

County councillor Alan Connett confirmed the plan had been withdrawn, after asking the council to consider the unpopular proposal earlier this week.

But, he said, the council would continue to work on the proposals which it saw as an essential part of Exeter's growth plans.

He added the council may resubmit another application "at some point in the future".

There were so many questions about the evidence base the county council put forward and concerns not only from residents but also Highways England, which oversees the country's national road network.

However, the plan isn't completely off the table as the county council says it will continue to work on proposals for a park and ride at Ide/Alphington and may put in a new application at some point.

– Cllr Alan Connett

Exeter researchers film rare 'Paddington' bear in Peru

Researchers film rare spectacled bear Credit: Exploration Sira

Researchers at the University of Exeter have confirmed a rare species of bear in Peru.

The children's character Paddington Bear is based on the vulnerable spectacled bear. Biologists placed secret cameras in the Sira Communal Reserve in Peru to capture the footage.

The team deployed 22 crowd funded camera traps in March 2015. The cameras stayed in place until last week when the team returned to the area to retrieve the results.

Researchers also filmed a critically endangered bird - the Sira Currasow. And documented 145 species of bird, 41 species of amphibian, 10 species of lizard and 7 species of snake, of which it is thought that two lizards and three frogs are new species, previously unknown to science.

Our new records of the Spectacled Bear highlight the Sira Communal Reserve as a stronghold for the species and demonstrates its importance at the national level.

We have fantastic videos of these charismatic bears – they were very playful with the camera traps, the footage shows them sniffing, licking and nosing the cameras.

This is much needed good news story for this threatened species; something we need to hear more of in conservation.

– Andrew Whitworth, researcher

University of Exeter in top 10 in Britain

University of Exeter in top 10 in Britain Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The University of Exeter has been put into the top 10 Best Campus Universities in Britain. The Times has moved the university up 2 spots from last year to 8th place in it's Good University Guide.

It has also been named as the 2nd best in the Southwest coming below Bath. The University of St Mark and St John in Plymouth came in 8th place in the region followed by Plymouth University and Falmouth University.


Cornwall fish can survive high contaminated waters

Trout in the River Hayle in Cornwall are able to survive in high contaminated waters Credit: PA

Trout in the River Hayle in Cornwall can survive in highly contaminated waters that would otherwise be lethal to other fish - that's according to new research from the University of Exeter and King's College London.

It's believed this is due to changes in the expression of their genes.

Exeter University to open a free school

Exeter University buildings Credit: PA

Exeter University is to open a new free school specialising in maths. The school will be jointly run with Exeter College. It is expected to open in September next year, and will cater for around 120 pupils: 16 to 19 year-olds who want to study maths.

A fifth of them will be able to board at the university between Monday and Thursday in a bid to attract youngsters from across the South West.

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