“Cranbook’s cultural development plan progress
EDDC’s Urban Designer updated the Forum on the progress of Cranbrook’s cultural development plan. He outlined the original development plan for Cranbrook and explained how the town and its population was growing and how the town centre had shifted. Cranbrook now had approximately 3,500 residents.
The Urban Designer explained that it was extremely hard to build shops and empty spaces on a commercial development. Planning consultation had shown that there were real concerns about the lack of available enterprise space. Cranbrook was growing quickly, with a lot of change in its population, which raised the issue of how to hit a moving target.
The cultural development strategy concentrated on getting the target to hit itself, rather than trying to hit a target that was moving. The principle was that buildings do not make culture, people do. People will do things where they can and that activities should be put before themes. This de-risked cultural development. The final stage of the cultural plan should be infrastructure. It was suggested that every public space should be capable of hosting a cultural activity and people should be given the ability in undefined spaces.
It was noted that there was section 106 funding for public art in Cranbrook. The Forum were asked to consider whether this should be spent on a piece of art or on a person who could build the capacity of the activities people would do, therefore enabling development to happen from within the community. The Forum considered whether the wording of the section 106 agreement should be varied to allow for an arts/cultural development officer at Cranbrook and it was suggested that section 106 funding for Honiton could also be used as partnership funding.
The Chairman thanked the Urban Designer for his interesting presentation.”