Cranbrook: penny pinching causes problems at railway station?

A correspondent in Cranbrook writes:

“I went to park at the train station this morning and a car had got stuck trying to gain access to the parking area … Most of the cars were parked OUTSIDE the designated area due to the fact that the entry with those barriers is TOOOO narrow ..What a waste of money ..

A bit like many Cranbrook garages, where the passenger has to get out before the driver goes in as they are so narrow, or those roads that are too narrow so cars park half-on the pavement – a problem for years as this article from 2013 illustrates:

“… Kelly Curran lives in Mead Cross. She’s also witnessed poor parking.

“It’s a sore subject with a lot of people,” she says. “The builders park everywhere, taking up a lot of parking spaces. They park in front of people’s drives, sometimes they just park their vehicles right on the pavement, so you’re forced out into the road.”

Local residents have also started parking on the pavement, because the roads – especially the side streets, such as Mayfield Way, Henry’s Run and Mead Cross – are narrow. …

The police are concerned about poor car parking in Cranbrook.

“Some of the parking is fairly bad,” says Cranbrook’s Police Community Support Officer Jack Stannard. “If it’s horrendous, then I go and speak to the owner of the vehicle.”

The local police has also posted a Think Before You Park flier on a Cranbrook Facebook page, flagging up that ‘sensible parking could save a life’.

The fire service is also concerned.

“We have been visiting the area and working with the community to ensure there is adequate access for all emergency service vehicles,” says a spokesman. “When we see a vehicle that might cause an obstruction, we are either speaking to the driver direct or leaving a polite notice.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that emergency vehicles are not delayed getting to incidents.”
Penny pinching gone mad.

“Fears of Exeter housing crisis as figures reveal population growth outstripping new homes”

And what starts in Exeter ripples immediately to East Devon – where the western side is now just another “Greater Exeter” suburb.

“Exeter would need to build houses more than twice as fast if it wanted to keep up with population growth.

The number of homes being built in the area actually dropped last year, the latest figures show – and housing is growing at a far slower
rate than the booming population.

… Government data reveals 450 homes were built in Exeter in 2016-17 – down from 651 the year before – bringing the total number of houses and flats to around 53,930.

That works out as a growth in Exeter housing of 0.84 per cent in the last year.

In comparison, the population of the area grew by nearly 2,500 people between mid-2015 and mid-2016 – the latest data available.

It means only one new home is being built for every six extra people in the area.

Population growth in Exeter is fuelled by both ‘natural’ factors – more births than deaths – as well as immigration from other parts of
the UK and abroad.

Thanks to this there are now nearly 130,000 people living in Exeter – a growth of 1.96 per cent in a single year.

It means the population in the area is growing more than twice as fast as homes are being built – one of the worst discrepancies seen in the
whole of England.

Across the country, rates of house building have actually overtaken total population growth in the last year, with the number of homes in
England increasing by more than 217,000 in 2016-17.

That brings the total number of dwellings in the country to around 24 million – up by 0.92 per cent on the year before. …”

New Cranbrook Play Area – a muddy situation


East Devon District Council is sorry that the opening of the Northwood Acres play area has been postponed, so won’t now take place on Saturday 18 November.

This is due to safety concerns and poor ground conditions following heavy rain which will delay the opening by up to 3 weeks and allow outstanding landscaping work to be completed safely.


Perhaps in those 3 weeks they could move the gate to the park so it doesn’t open directly onto a road?

I live opposite the park gate and have raised this as a concern since day 1, I know how fast some people come round that corner and it is an accident waiting to happe

Cranbrook (Preferred Approach) consultation opens


“Cranbrook Plan – Preferred Approach

We are delighted to advise that East Devon District Council are consulting on the above plan and we would welcome your comments that need to be received by us by

9:00 am on Monday 8 January 2018.

The Cranbrook Plan Preferred Approach documents set out proposals for the future development of the town and they include a masterplan that shows the proposed location of differing types of buildings and land uses including homes, shops, community facilities and open spaces. In the consultation documents we provide details of evidence and background reports that support the Cranbrook work and we also have a schedule of potential future policies for Cranbrook development and a sustainability appraisal.

The feedback we receive from this consultation will help inform production of a formal development plan document (or DPD) for the town that we hope to produce and consult on in 2018 and then to formally submit for independent examination. You can find out more about the Cranbrook Plan – Preferred Approach, look at supporting documents and find out how to make comments by visiting our web site at:


Do please contact us if you have any queries or would like further information. We would advise that we are contacting you because your details are logged on our planning policy database or you have previously responded to Cranbrook consultation events. If, however, you no longer wish to be contacted by this Council in respect of planning policy documents do please advise us and we will remove your details from our database.”

Yours faithfully
The Cranbrook Team
East Devon District Council

Taylor Wimpey and Cranbrook … not a happy partnership

Taylor Wimpey’s Facebook page has some VERY unflattering comments about their houses in Cranbrook, and Cranbrook itself – poor construction, parking problems, not enough shops, no 1 bed properties, size of rooms disputed, checks not made, repairs not done …

Oh dear.

Cranbrook attempts to rid itself of the developers’ “estate rent charge”

Cranbrook’s estate rent charge – currently around £150 per year per household – may be scrapped if plans by Cranbrook Town Council (CTC) go ahead.

If approved, the annual charge – for the management of Cranbrook’s public spaces, including play areas and the Country Park – would be replaced next April by an increase in CTC’s element of the East Devon District Council (EDDC) council tax bill.

But the increase won’t be a flat rate.

It would be a banded charge, depending on the rateable value of a property.

However, CTC believes its proposal will save people money. The council says that ‘considerable’ savings would be achieved by ‘cutting out’ expensive collection, legal and administration costs, removing management layers and being able to negotiate maintenance contracts.

In addition, all households in Cranbrook would contribute towards the maintenance of facilities within the town’s boundaries, whereas at present the estate rent charge is limited to those who purchase homes from the main consortium of developers.

“This is a significant step for the town,” said Cllr Kevin Blakey, CTC’s chairman. “The estate rent charge has been a continual source of concern for residents with the threat that the management company may seek to collect substantial back-payments and also raise charges without any apparent checks and balances.

“Some residents may feel this change is unfair, but based on the savings which the town council can make and the fact that we feel that it is fairer for all households to contribute to the maintenance of public amenities and facilities, we believe this is the right thing to do.

“It also provides an opportunity for those less able to pay to apply the current arrangements for council tax relief.

The developers and CTC are keen to reach an agreement.

Cllr Kevin Blakey said: “Both parties are working on the basis that the agreement would provide a clean break between the current estate rent charge position and the future. The town council wants to take control of the estate rent charge, once and for all.”

CTC has issued a Q&A sheet at:

Cranbrook favoured over rural areas for bus services

Yet another blow for rural towns and villages where bus servicex have been cut so people can’t get into Exeter or the Science Park or the Lidl depot if they don’t have cars.

Bus operator Stagecoach has announced additional journeys on one of its popular routes.

The changes, which will be implemented on its 4 route on October 16, include a new 5.36am journey from Exeter Bus Station to Cranbrook running seven days a week.

The return journey to the bus station from Cranbrook will leave at 6.09am.

The route will also provide a later bus to and from Cranbrook on Sundays.

Under the revised changes, the last service from Exeter Bus Station to Cranbrook will be at 9.36pm and the last service from Cranbrook to Exeter Bus Station will be at 10.09pm.

The full 4 route runs from Exeter to Axminster, stopping at Cranbrook, Ottery St Mary and Honiton along the way.”