Monday, 22 July 2013


Cranbrook, the new town being built as part of the District Council's 'growth point', has been in the news of late:

Cranbrook could house new council HQ

Related Stories

17 July 2013 Last updated at 23:31
Members of a Devon council have voted unanimously in favour of a possible move to Cranbrook, Devon's newest town.
East Devon District Council is currently based in a former Victorian hotel in the seaside resort of Sidmouth. But officers have recommended relocating because of the high cost of maintaining the buildings.
New locations being considered are Cranbrook, which is still being completed, and Honiton. The council's cabinet voted in favour of the move at a meeting earlier. The council said further work would now be done to investigate new sites, with parts of the current site likely to be sold for housing.
'Money down drain'
Knowle Park public space could be handed over to Sidmouth Town Council.
The council said the move would not add to residents' council tax and would help to reduce the "running costs" of the council by £160,000 a year. It said it would also save £55,000 a year in energy costs.
Conservative Paul Diviani, East Devon District Council leader, said: "All the evidence suggests that trying to stay at Knowle is like pouring taxpayers' money down the drain. "The current buildings need over £1.5m spending on them in essential repairs alone.
"Exploring the Honiton and Cranbrook options... gives us the opportunity to provide modern offices which are low cost to run and give taxpayers across East Devon value for money."
Kelvin Dent, an Independent member of Sidmouth Town Council, said: "I think it would be a pity if East Devon District Council were to move out of the Victorian hotel and/or the offices which were erected in the 1970s behind it.
"Which council in its right mind, in these times of economic difficulty, would seriously consider building new offices anyway?"

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

This is a showcase project for both East Devon and Exeter:

The Vision
The vision for Cranbrook is to create a self-sufficient, low carbon new community in close proximity to skilled employment opportunities, encouraging people to use sustainable modes of transport and to reduce the need for them to travel between work and home by car.
Work is underway on the building the new community of Cranbrook, with outline planning permission (subject to a section 106 agreement) for 2,900 homes. 
Our aim is to build Cranbrook to the highest code for sustainable homes we can and by doing so become a trail blazer for low carbon mass open market housing developments.
Cranbrook from the air
The vision and challenge for Cranbrook is to create an attractive and vibrant town which combines the rich urban fabric of an historic Devon market town with the needs of a 21st century lifestyle. To create a town which responds to its setting and landscape and can be said to be "of Devon".
The development of a free standing new settlement has not been attempted in Devon since the Middle Ages.
Devon towns of the Middle Ages have evolved organically over almost a millennium into successful service centres. Their rich fabric of buildings and infrastructure reflects the collective wealth of their social and political history, but moreover they are quintessentially Devonian. 
This has been an enormous challenge for the local authorities and developers of Cranbrook, to create a sustainable, vibrant and attractive new town from scratch.
We want Cranbrook to take its place in the natural hierarchy of Devon towns and to become a modern market town with close functional links with the other developments in the growth area, such as Skypark and Exeter Science Park.
A top priority for the Growth Point and the New Community Partners is to ensure that the new community is sustainable, both in terms of reducing resource use and minimising carbon emissions.
Cranbrook from the air looking east
The urban design principles for the new community address a number of these issues: creating an integrated community with a sense of place, ensuring that there is sustainable transport provision, that the ecology of the immediate environment is considered and that we recognise the need to develop a thriving local economy.
Our target is to deliver a high proportion of affordable housing across the whole development, assisted by funding from the Homes and Communities Agency, with an integrated mix of housing throughout the site. We also recognise the need for key social and community infrastructure to be available to the new residents as early in the development as possible.
In order for place-shaping to begin, the new residents must have access to key services, local governance, recreational facilities.  This includes a Country Park as well as more formal leisure activities and other vital community infrastructure. For this reason one of the first buildings on site will be the multi-purpose building (MPB) which will serve many of these functions. 
Also with the support of the Homes and Communities Agency's Low Carbon Infrastructure Fund, the Growth Point, New Community Partners, E.ON and St.Modwen (one of the joint venture partners for Skypark), a Combined Heat and Power (CHP), District Heating Scheme has been designed and is currently under construction.  This single energy centre will serve both Cranbrook and SKypark and could be powered by a biomass fuel.
This scheme will serve the whole community at Cranbrook and would mean reduced energy bills and hot water always available. It is estimated that the installation of biomass district heating and a CHP plant in the Growth Area to generate electricity and heat for the first 2900 homes at Cranbrook, could provide an estimated 13,000 tonnes of CO2 saving a year.
Cranbrook will be THE FIRST mass open market development in the country to provide a district heating scheme on this scale.
Work started in June 2011 and from 12 May 2012 the first show homes will be available to view. For more information about the various milestones in the development, click here for the news items.
There is a 3D model of Cranbrook New Community available online, to view it click here.
Planning Authority: East Devon District Council
Lead Applicant: New Community Partners

In the last couple of weeks there has been further news about the development of the new town:

First building at Exeter Science Park in UK tops out

Published: 02-Jul-2013

The first building at the 26-hectare Exeter Science Park in the UK topped out recently and is scheduled to be completed in October 2013.

Designed by Exeter-based architect, Lacey Hickie Caley and being built by Interserve Construction, the building is certified with BREEAM Excellent rating. The 100m² three-storey facility will provide up to 500m2 accommodation for small and medium-sized businesses on the ground floor.
Sustainable features of the building include photovoltaic panels on the roof, natural ventilation and high levels of insulation to reduce energy use. The building will also link the district heating systems planned for the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point.
Located next to Junction 29 of the M5 motorway, the 76,000m2 Exeter Science Park is expected to become significant investment in the South West's expanding knowledge economy. The Phase 1 of Exeter Science Park scheme will also provide for a 150-bed business hotel and conference centre, the Science Park Centre and a further 4,000 m2 of space.

Sainsbury’s pulls out of south west mega shed

Published: 15 July 2013 
Sainsbury’s has pulled out of plans to build a 528,000 sq ft distribution centre in Devon following a review of its logistics.
The supermarket giant is reviewing its logistics network. Sainsbury’s and East Devon District Council brought forward plans to develop a site near Exeter airport and an outline planning consent was granted in September 2011.
“Although this news is disappointing, our research shows that there could be future demand for a depot in this location. We are therefore currently working with East Devon District Council to review our options.”
As well as the 29 acre main site, Sainsbury’s has a further seven acres of land which it now intends to sell.
Around 450 jobs were expected to be created once the depot was fully up and running. The facility was the first phase in the long-awaited Intermodal Freight Facility, known as Exeter Gateway, which forms part of the Exeter & East Devon Growth Point.
Sainsbury’s pulls out of south west mega shed - News - Logistics Manager
Sainsbury's calls a halt to regional depot | This is Cornwall

Indeed, concerns were voiced early on:

An honest look at Cranbrook and ‘growth point’

The Sainsbury’s distribution centre is near Clyst Honiton and we were told that it is only slightly smaller than the gargantuan Morrisons next to the M5 in Somerset. 
The Sainsbury’s distribution centre was given full planning permission last year amid controversy. 
The original agreement and one enshrined in EDDC’s adopted Local Plan was that the distribution centre would be linked to a railway to ensure that as many goods travelled by train as possible, to avoid a huge amount of lorry movements.
Unfortunately, and despite significant representations to the contrary, planning permission was granted without securing from Sainsbury’s any funding whatsoever for this vital piece of infrastructure.  Nearby residents can now look forward to an enormous number of lorry movements every day, once it opens.
The Clyst Honiton bypass,with its 100m tunnel, has reportedly consumed around £20m of public money, with 12m being paid back by developer contributions.

And earlier still:

How many more Cranbrooks are to be built before we wake up to the damage to our green and pleasant land . The area is grassy, well farmed. Food producing the most important commodity for man. If we continue as we do, the remainder of agricultural land will become less to feed an ever growing population. Consequently land will be forced beyond its natural capability. This is happening already. Have we thought about the future generations. There is a huge area of land that does not produce anything and a little wild life with as much aggregate on the spot woodbury common and many other similar sites
Work starts on East Devon’s new town of Cranbrook | Communities Before Developers

And ongoing:

Cranbrook, exciting new eco-town? | Sidmouth Independent News
Planning free-for-all in East Devon? Almost certainly, yes | Sidmouth Independent News
Cranbrook gets special treatment for Community Infrastructure Levy | Sidmouth Independent News
Cranbrook sewage | Sidmouth Independent News
EDDC Leader says Cranbrook won’t be sold to local authorities – can we be sure? | Sidmouth Independent News
Congratulations | Sidmouth Independent News
Double whammy for Cranbrook | Sidmouth Independent News
We want one … but only Cranbrook gets one | Sidmouth Independent News

No comments: