An FAQ produced by the town council.
Summary: We were supposed to have them, developers won’t give up any land so we have no idea if we will ever get them even though we have a statutory duty to provide them.
Developers 1, Town Council 0
Take particular note of the answer to Question 2. Cynical Owl wonders if other Section 106 community benefits are triggered at this point and developers are dragging their feet about effective counting.
EDW-watchers will recall that almost £700,000 of such benefits was not triggered due to poor record-keeping on the part of EDDC and the need to rely on developers to tell EDDC when trigger points are reached. And most of that figure related to Cranbrook.
“1) When I moved in two years ago, the salesperson said there would be allotments in Phase 1?
We are afraid that was incorrect but we can see how the confusion arose. To set the record straight, although Cranbrook was always going to have allotments, the land originally set aside for them was not in Phase 1 but was part of the Sports Pitch land on Phase 2. This location was subsequently challenged as it was thought that adjacent to sports pitches was an unsuitable place for them. It was therefore decided to try to find an alternative location. This prompted a renegotiation of the original legal agreement. The revised agreement will still make provision for allotments in Cranbrook but a new location needs to be found (see also 2 below).
2) The Town Council’s website says one of its responsibilities is providing allotments, so why haven’t we got any yet and when are they coming?
Not only do they require a suitable location (see 1 above) a numerical trigger also needs to be reached before the work can begin. There are two stages to this process. Firstly, when approaching 1500 homes are occupied (i.e. not just built), the Owners (in this case the Consortium) are required to identify and gain planning permission for a location. Secondly, the Owners must, “use reasonable endeavours to complete the Allotments by the First Occupation of the 2000th Dwelling in accordance with the Allotments Specification and Delivery Programme and make them available for use as soon as practicable thereafter.” (extract from Section 106 agreement). Surprisingly, although there are many more new houses being built on Phase 2, we have been informed by East Devon District Council that Cranbrook still hasn’t quite reached the 1500 homes occupied figure.
3) So, where will the Cranbrook allotments actually go?
We regret we don’t have any information as yet about where they will be located but we are keeping a watching brief and will inform residents as soon as we have any new information.
4) I’ve heard the Town Council has a list of people who are interested in having an allotment, so can I join that?
Yes, we are keeping a list, so that when the allotments do become available they can be allocated fairly to people who have declared an interest. We currently have 13 names on the list. Please feel free to contact us on email@example.com or 01404 514552 if you would like to be added.”