“Police admit loophole stops speeding drivers from being prosecuted on roads in Cranbrook”

Cranbrook a NEW development? Some of the houses there are 4 or more years old!

“Drivers on some of new roads in Devon cannot be prosecuted for speeding, police have admitted.

Numerous roads running off London Road in Cranbrook are yet to be officially adopted by Devon County Council therefore leaving housing developers responsible for managing them.

This means that Devon and Cornwall Police is unable to enforce speeding restrictions around the town on roads that are unadopted and do not have street lights.

“For speed enforcement to occur, a valid Traffic Regulation Order needs to be in place,” said Ch Insp Leisk.

“This is prepared by the local authority post adoption. When conducting speed detection activity, we would always confirm the validity of the TRO.

“The other occasion where a road speed limit is always 30mph is when street lighting is present less than 200 metres apart. Unless posted otherwise, this is always a 30mph limit.

“A street layout would always be agreed with the local Highway Authority, in this case Devon County Council, prior to build as part of the planning process.”

Concerns were raised at a recent Cranbrook Town Council meeting with Cllr Ray Bloxham telling members that police would not enforce the 30mph limit on unadopted roads.

He added that the Devon County Council task group was looking at speeding on Devon’s roads.

Cllr Kevin Blakey, chairman of Cranbrook Town Council, told Devon Live that his understanding was that all aspects of the Road Traffic Act apply on all of the town’s roads.

He said: “It is true that the majority of the roads in Cranbrook have yet to be adopted, and this is usual for most new developments.

“However, the supposition that speed limits and other regulations do not apply is incorrect.

“The Road Traffic Act and associated regulations apply in full and without exception to all roads to which the public have access.”

However, Ch Insp Adrian Leisk clarified that while certain aspects of the act do apply – such as needing insurance and a valid licence – police are not in a position to be able to prosecute speeding.

He said: “Elements of the Road Traffic Act apply such as insurance, standards of driving, wearing seat belts and not using a mobile phone.

“These all are applicable as the offence is committed on a road – there is a legal definition of road.

“The setting of speed limits are always detailed in the TRO, the lack of which could be relied upon in an individual’s defence.”

A spokesperson for Devon County Council said: “Because the roads have not been adopted, and so are not managed by DCC, the responsibility rests with the Cranbrook Consortium for main roads that link with London Road, and the relevant housing development companies manage the roads in their sections of development that connect to the main Cranbrook roads.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/police-admit-loophole-stops-speeding-2018242

Another blow to a new Cranbrook town centre?

A large shopping centre development at Sowton was recently turned down by Exeter City Council because it did not fit in with their vision for local centres in the large new housing developments springing up in that area. The scheme called for an out-of-town shopping centre with the likes of Next, Boots, etc.

The developer, rather than appealing the decision, has swiftly withdrawn the original plans and submitted a revised application, thus avoiding the hefty cost of submitting new plans.

They now say they will (possibly) include a post office, pharmacy and gym and maybe other smaller retail elements. This, they feel, fulfills the requirement for a more local feel to the plans.

Whether Exeter City Council agrees with this, or if an appeal is successful if they still reject it remains to be seen.

But it certainly puts a damper on those retail ventures willing to open up in secondary, nearby areas such as Cranbrook and those developers willing to take a chance on anything but (highly profitable) housing.

Cranbrook: please return your anti-social behaviour diary – or start one!

From town council Facebook site:

“Just a request to those residents who have been keeping anti-social behaviour diaries to please return them to the Town Council office in the Younghayes Centre, 169 Younghayes Rd, EX5 7DR as soon as possible (or if preferred, by email, marked confidential, to office@cranbrooktowncouncil.gov.uk) so we have the information in time for a related meeting.

Thank you. Other residents experiencing problems are welcome to request a diary.”

Cranbrook – town centre and skateboard park problematical

Developers need to build another 500 houses to trigger skateboard park – but even then, it isn’t certain – nor is a new town centre.

“The district council said it is a ‘difficult and uncertain time’ to be planning a new town centre amid the collapse of several big high street stores.

The authority reiterated the importance of getting the ‘right balance’ between community facilities, retail and leisure space, and homes, adding: “We are developing an understanding of what a 21st century town centre should be and how we can deliver a viable town centre for now and the future in partnership with the town council and the developers.

“The location of the skate park is a key element of the town centre and a decision on its location cannot be made in isolation of other key decisions.

“We are working hard to avoid conflict with other uses that are also proposed within the town centre such as a care home, library and town hall and to ensure that it is well related to other youth facilities.

“This work is complex but vital to ensure that the town centre at Cranbrook meets the needs of all groups in the community and pulls in people from the surrounding area.

“It is not the council’s intention to delay delivery of the skateboard park – indeed there has been no delay to date, but it is important that the right location for this and other key activities are found, so we can ensure that Cranbrook’s town centre is a big success.”

http://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/hundreds-of-homes-still-need-to-be-occupied-before-cranbrook-s-first-skatepark-can-be-built-1-5685261

“Document detailing Cranbrook’s 8,000 home expansion to be published by end of 2018”

The statement that building Cranbrook town centre is now set fair because Exeter City Council refused one out-of-town shopping centre development close to the town recently is naive and misleading. That planning application could go to appeal and be won or, if lost, there are three further sites earmarked for similar developments in a cluster in the same area – the B and Q site, another site adjacent to B and Q and the current police HQ at Middlemoor.

….”More details about the proposed town centre for Cranbrook are also expected to be revealed in the plan as well.

Recently, Exeter City Council planners, contrary to the recommendation of officers, rejected plans for a retail park at the Moor Exchange at the east of Exeter.

Concerns had been raised about the impact that a new retail park at the East of Exeter would have had on the proposed Cranbrook Town Centre, with both East Devon New Community Partners, the Cranbrook developers, and East Devon District Council objecting to the scheme.

The town centre will be built on land next to Cranberry Farm, which will eventually be in the middle of the town.
http://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/document-detailing-cranbrook-s-8-000-home-expansion-to-be-published-by-end-of-2018-1-5675758

What will happen in Cranbrook and Sidford if pavement parking is made illegal?

“Motorists should be banned from parking on pavements to prevent pedestrians having to walk on the road, ministers have been told.

A coalition of charities is calling on the Department for Transport (DfT) to fast-track legislation designed to bar drivers from mounting the kerb.

In a letter to The Times, the groups criticise the government for “stalling” over the issue and say that action is needed to stop cars on congested streets spilling over on to the pavement.

The issue is particularly pressing for parents with prams, the elderly, those with disabilities and people who are blind and partially sighted, they say.

The letter is signed by 20 charities including the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Living Streets, Age UK, British Cycling, Scope and The Ramblers. An open letter to the prime minister signed by 16,000 members of the public has also been delivered.

It follows a statement from the DfT this year that it was considering an overhaul of traffic laws to prevent vehicles from blocking paths. This would bring the rest of England into line with London, which has banned pavement parking, except where specifically allowed by councils, since 1974. Outside the capital, local authorities have long pushed for the change, saying it was a “nonsense” that those outside London were treated differently. It could allow councils to make it illegal to park on the kerb unless they expressly grant permission, potentially carrying fines of £50 or £70.

Almost three years ago the DfT suggested that a review of the law would be carried out as part of reforms designed to promote more cycling and walking, but it never materialised.

Today’s letter notes that it has been 1,000 days since ministers first proposed to take action. “Cars parked on the pavements force people into the road to face oncoming traffic, which is particularly dangerous for many, including blind and partially sighted people, parents with pushchairs and young children, wheelchair users and others who use mobility aids,” it says.

Xavier Brice, chief executive of Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, said: “We strongly support a banning of pavement parking. It is particularly dangerous for those who are blind and partially sighted, other less able people and people with push chairs.”

The DfT said: “We recognise the importance of making sure that pavement parking doesn’t put pedestrians at risk, and believe councils are best placed to make decisions about local restrictions.

“Councils already have the powers to ban drivers from parking on pavements and we are considering whether more can be done to make it easier for them to tackle problem areas. It is important to get this right for all pavement users.”

Source: Times, pay wall

Is YOUR village on the EDDC list for expansion? And another east/west divide

East Devon District Council Strategic Planning Committee are going to discuss:

“Principles for accommodating the future growth needs of East Devon”

on 4 September 2018.

The Committee are being asked to endorse

“The proposed principles for growth” as the basis for future discussion and consultation on accommodating extra growth in the district.”

The document is described as the “start of the debate” for future East Devon growth points for both the GESP (The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan) and the East Devon Local Plan review, which is required to be updated within the next two years.

For the last few years East Devon District Council have achieved their own Local Plan agreed target of 950 dwellings per year. (EDDC Target is 17,100 dwellings between the years of 2013 to 2031).

Recently Central Government decided to calculate each District`s housing requirement targets on a set matrix. East Devon’s build out figure has been set to be 844 homes per year. However, the report suggests that rather than achieve the Government target of 844 new houses per year there is a proposal to build out much higher levels of growth.

The report explains that the objective of higher growth could be achieved by what is called a “Growth Deal” with Central Government where a group of Councils agree to build more housing in return for infrastructure investment from central funds.

This proposed “Growth Deal” is being prepared by the Councils of East Devon, Exeter, Teignbridge and Mid Devon through the “GESP” Greater Exeter Strategic Plan.

It is recognised that Exeter is unable to provide the housing land required to sustain the expected growth of the city, and the rural areas and towns in the rest of the combined area will be required to increase their housing requirements in exchange for the infrastructure improvements for access to and from the city of Exeter.

Improvements to the motorway junctions, new roads, extra park and rides, rail improvements, new stations and an integrated transport system are all identified as priority improvements to overcome the already chronic delays on Exeter`s transport network. There are also aspirations for a “sports hub and concert venue” for Greater Exeter to be included in the GESP infrastructure needs.

The report gives a brief synopsis of the towns in East Devon and concludes that other than the new town of Cranbrook there is limited scope for growth due to the various towns’ proximity to the AONB designated areas, or they are bordering on the coast or close to flood plains.

The conclusion from the report is that the existing towns will only accommodate minimal growth, and with two-thirds of East Devon being included in the AONB of the Pebblebed Heaths or the Blackdown Hills the only area that can accommodate substantial growth is within the North West part of the district.

The report describes this area as the Western most quadrant of this district to the North of Exmouth and West of Ottery St Mary. The land is described to benefit from being relatively flat with no landscape designations. It is also well served by main roads with good vehicle access via the M5, A30, A3052 and A376 and has good existing public transport links with the railway line and existing bus routes.

There are 3 possible ways described as to how development could be achieved in this area.

1. Establish a further new town. Basically, create another Cranbrook. However, the report considers that the creation of another new town in the area could harm the delivery of Cranbrook.

2. Establish a number of new villages. Create a series of modern Devon villages but the report considers that this option would be most damaging in landscape terms.

3. Centre Growth around Existing Villages.

Growth would be required to be substantial with around 400 to 500 extra homes to be added to a number of existing villages (The report does not state how many villages will be required within this area). However, this could harm the character of the village and the existing community.

The new NPPF acknowledges that:

“The supply of a large number of new homes can often be best achieved through planning for larger scale development such as new settlements or significant extensions to existing villages and towns, provided they are well located and designed, and supported by necessary infrastructure and facilities.”

A list of the Parishes within the expansion area for extra housing area

By referring to a map of the area these are the Parishes(villages) which are within the West of the district which could have development of between 400 to 500 extra dwellings, parishes identified could be:

Nether Exe
Rewe
Brampford Speke
Upton Pyne.
Stoke Canon ​

All these Villages are North of Exeter and access is by way of the A377 – which is not listed as one of the featured roads, so it is unlikely these will be included.

Broadclyst
Clyst Honiton
Sowton
Rockbeare
Wimple.​

These Villages are close to Cranbrook and therefore unlikely to be selected to avoid the villages and town merging.

Clyst Hydon
Clyst St Lawrence
Aylesbeare
Marsh Green

These Parishes are remote from a main road or railway station which probably eliminates them because of their unsustainable location.

Lympstone

This Village is already designated in the report to provide growth for Exmouth.

This leaves the following Parishes most likely to be included for further expansion in the proposals:

Poltimore
Huxham
Clyst St Mary
Clyst St George (includes the village of Ebford)
West Hill
Woodbury​ (includes the village of Woodbury Salterton and Exton)
Farringdon.

The “Principles for Growth” which the committee are being asked to agree to:

• A significant proportion of growth to be in the Western part of the district by either a new town or extending a number of villages or building new villages.

• Plus, modest growth in existing towns with strategic growth around Axminster, Exmouth (including Lympstone), Honiton and Ottery St Mary.

• All other Villages to be encouraged to provide modest growth through their Neighbourhood Plans.

• Focus development on main transport corridors if possible.

Conclusion:

For the last few years, East Devon has successfully complied with the government`s Housing Strategy, with their current Local Plan and at present build out rates, this will over subscribe the Government Building Target until the year 2031.

The Government is not forcing East Devon to co-operate with Exeter to provide some of their housing needs. This decision is totally at the discretion of the District Council and their leaders.

Yes, Exeter is a thriving growth city, and it is recognised that the road and rail connections are dire, but why destroy the character of a part of East Devon for these improvements?

The very reason people choose to relocate to Exeter, its surrounding towns and villages is the beautiful Devon countryside; the building of a mass of new housing will simply make the area a mirror image of the existing areas the people are wanting to move away from!

So, to satisfy the aspirations and needs of the City of Exeter, the rural west area of East Devon will be required to build many more houses with either another new town or new villages or building an extra 500 houses to a number of existing village communities.

Will the Strategic Planning Committee endorse this proposal or not?