Two years ago, a group of residents in Whimple set up an action group called POWR (Protect Our Whimple & Rockbeare) to help local communities to push back on proposed plans to expand Cranbrook ever closer to their village boundaries. POWR has now lunched a petition asking EDDC to finish the development they started and stop over-development of Cranbrook.
Cranbrook new town is growing at an alarming rate. Proposals are currently under consultation to extend Cranbrook into four new expansion areas – Bluehayes, Treasbeare, Cobdens and The Grange. It is proposed that the four areas will accommodate over 4,000 new homes, three primary schools, two neighbourhood centres, employment land, two gypsy and traveller sites and open space and sports provision. Whilst we understand the requirement to provide housing for people, it does not need to be all in this one area. This additional development will see significant changes to around 1200 acres of land that will change the landscape in this area of East Devon beyond all recognition, at a time when we are already witnessing a very real shortage of land for food production and trees to help fight climate change globally.
Cranbrook is already a large and growing development with a vibrant community, but residents have been badly let down by East Devon District Council leaving the roll-out of the Town Centre to the Developers who have failed to provide the thriving Town Centre with a supermarket, shops, amenities and work spaces that was promised from the outset. Now that EDDC has accepted the latest offer from East Devon New Community Partners and taken control of some of this next phase of development for Cranbrook, the Council must step up and make this a reality for the many residents living there. It is a crying shame that it has taken this long and that the ambitious plans have been scaled back compared to what they were.
A Governance Review has recently been called for that will look at boundary changes to our local parishes so that more land comes under the control of Cranbrook Town Council, eating away at our village borders. Whilst the plans for the expansion of Cranbrook are still under review, it is rather premature and presumptive to be looking at expanding the boundaries of Cranbrook further and into neighbouring parishes.
We, the people of East Devon, have the right to make ourselves heard and the power to effect change if we come together as one voice. We demand that Mark Williams, Chief Executive of East Devon District Council and his colleagues, oppose any expansion of Cranbrook beyond the existing town boundary until it has been properly consulted on by appointed representatives of Cranbrook, Clyst Valley, Broadclyst, Whimple and Rockbeare. Any Governance Review should be shelved whilst the expansion plans are still under consultation.
Enough is enough!
Please sign and share this petition and demand that East Devon District Council listen to the many voices crying out for the mass over-development of our local area to stop!