Turf-cutting celebrations in Cranbrook breaks the ‘deadlock’ in the wait to build a town centre

Years of waiting for a town centre in Cranbrook will be over by the end of 2023 after a turf-cutting ceremony officially marked the start of the building work.

Becca Gliddon eastdevonnews.co.uk

The diggers have moved onto the site, and at the end of September East Devon District Council (EDDC) leader Councillor Paul Arnott officially broke the ground with spade in a ceremony, held at the junction of Tillhouse Road and Court Royal.

Construction work will take around a year and once built, the town centre is expected to have a Morrisons supermarket, children’s day nursery, retail shops, residential apartments and a new market square.

The new town centre is expected to be ready by the end of 2023.

Cllr Arnott said the turf-cutting brought months of negotiations to a close and the town centre deadlock to an end.

He said: “My administration is thrilled to have broken the deadlock over the future of a new town centre in Cranbrook.

“This has taken dedicated negotiations by our officers and the political will to invest.

“I was delighted to meet the construction team on a very well-run site and can’t wait to go shopping in Morrisons as soon as possible.”


East Devon District Council leader Cllr Paul Arnott breaking ground alongside (left to right) Acheson operations director Colin Johnson, HDD managing director Scott Davidson and Acheson Commercial manager David Green.

The town centre will be built by Henry Davidson Developments (HDD) and local building contractor Acheson Construction.

Scott Davidson, HDD managing director, said: “It is an important part of the wider Cranbrook development and with a great range of retail occupiers it will prove to be a real asset.

“There has been a lot of interest in its progress since the plans were announced, so it is very satisfying for construction to begin and deliver the much-needed town centre.”

The site of Cranbrook town centre. Image: Still Imaging

The site of Cranbrook town centre. Image: Still Imaging

Attending the turf-cutting ceremony was Richard Harrison, for Taylor Wimpey Exeter, and Gareth Jones, for LiveWest.

Mr Harrison said: “We’re all very excited for what we’re about to see here in Cranbrook. A lot of time and hard work has been put into the making of this new town and we can’t wait for everyone to see what the town centre has to offer.”

Plans for Cranbrook town centre. Image: EDDC

Plans for Cranbrook town centre. Image: EDDC

Mr Jones said: “It’s fantastic to see the town centre being constructed and for LiveWest to play its part in supporting the delivery of the residential homes.

“It is just what Cranbrook and its residents need and adds an essential element to the new community.”