Cranbrook’s epic £5.5M town centre approved

“Getting Cranbrook done!” The New Guard deals with a legacy issue.

(Just think Simon how this money could have been spent instead on reducing car park charges. Maybe you could winge about it in the next Tory leaflet.) – Owl

Anita Merritt

A major milestone has been reached in the continued development of Cranbrook after the go-ahead was given for funding of up to £5.5m for a town centre. Planning permission has also been granted for a supermarket, high street shops with apartments above, a town square and a children’s day nursery

East Devon District Council has announced it has approved the funding for the acquisition of town centre land in Cranbrook. It sits alongside current plans to provide space for shops and community facilities including a children’s centre, youth centre, library, town council offices, health and wellbeing hub, a leisure centre and a skatepark.

Work on the supermarket and nursery is due to be completed by summer next year, followed soon after by the high street shops, apartments, town square and children’s day nursery. The investment is funded by the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone from borrowing against future ring-fenced business rate income.

By securing the land, the council says it can make sure that the new town centre will be able to grow and develop over time, including providing workspace to meet the needs of a growing population.

The Council has also agreed the process for delivering the £40m Cranbrook Local Infrastructure Fund. The fund will ensure that critical infrastructure, such as schools and transport improvements, can be delivered in step with new homes as the town expands to a population of around 20,000 people.

Cranbrook town centre supermarket

Cranbrook town centre supermarket (Image: EDDC)

Cllr Dan Ledger, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for strategic development and chair of Cranbrook Strategic Delivery Board, said: “This is a monumental moment for the town where the ‘coming soon’ notion actually becomes a reality over the next few months. Through partnership working across all levels of local authority and with the consortium of developers, Cranbrook will now finally have its much-needed centre.

“I couldn’t be happier for the residents.”

Cranbrook town centre plans

Cranbrook town centre plans (Image: EDDC)

Agreement on the details underpinning the facilities for the town has been coordinated by the Cranbrook Strategic Delivery Board. The Board is a partnership of Councillors from Cranbrook Town Council, East Devon District Council and Devon County Council who all played an important role agreeing the way forward with the developer consortium (Cranbrook New Community partners in conjunction with Henry Davidson Developments).

Cllr Les Bayliss, chairman of Cranbrook Town Council, said: “This long awaited news will undoubtedly bring significant benefits to the community. For example, being able to shop locally I believe will have a positive impact on the people that live in and around Cranbrook. Not to mention the benefits locally to the environment, economy and the potential of local employment opportunities”.