Cranbrook: the result of 40 (yes, forty) years of planning!

“Cranbrook is the first new stand alone settlement in Devon since the Middle Ages. The result of over 40 years of planning, it is now coming to fruition with development having started on site in June 2011 and the first new homes being completed in May 2012.”

40 YEARS!!! Anyone remember Cranbrook being discussed in the 1970’s and 1980’s? Or were all the discussions in secret?

And is anyone proud of what we have ended up with after 40 years of planning?

Here is a different view of this 40 year-in-the-making town:

“The Government’s Eco Towns Prospectus, released in July, states: “Cranbrook will be designed to high environmental standards above current building regulations. The first phase includes providing 16.7 percent of energy from renewable sources, with its use of biomass boilers to heat schools, commercial buildings and community facilities. The steps they are taking will provide many useful lessons for eco-towns.”

The town – which will be near Exeter Airport and a planned new “Skypark” business estate – is expected to consist of around 5,000 new homes by 2016.

Environmental campaigners, however, are unimpressed by the proposed eco-town and dismiss it as a “greenwash”. They are concerned about the potential for increased carbon emissions from residents commuting to work and the fact that Cranbrook will be built near a flood plain.

“I find this eco-town claim utterly amazing,” says Maurice Spurway, a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth. “Cranbrook will create a paved area close to a flood plain and its waste will probably be burned in an incinerator in Exeter, so carbon emissions would be maximised. The town is following all the wrong rules of development. This eco-town name is a marketing ploy without substance and I’m shocked the Government has fallen for it.”

One thought on “Cranbrook: the result of 40 (yes, forty) years of planning!

  1. The good news (if you can call it that – more of a DISASTER really) is that planning time-scales have been significantly reduced by virtue of the development free-for-all that currently exists due to the lack of an approved Local Plan, whereby developers have a pretty good chance of building just where they like without the need for real planning.

    The bad news (if you can call it that – also more of a DISASTER really) is that it is unlikely to get much better once the new Local Plan is approved (whenever that will be – your guess is as good as mine – already 7-8 years, and many of the Planning Inspectors comments from 2 years ago have yet to be addressed). The housing numbers in the draft Local Plan are so large that the council is going to pretty much have to allow the developer free-for-all to continue if they are to meet them – and they have to meet them if they are to get the income from the New Homes Bonus which is driving the huge housing numbers in the draft Local Plan and that the council is relying upon to be able to keep Council Tax at the same level (despite inflation).

    If you thought that your local Council is following local residents desires for East Devon, then you are only right if your objective is to keep Council Tax low (by financing services through the New Homes Bonus) at the expense of new housing overwhelming us all!!


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