Monday, 6 April 2015

Cranbrook shortlisted for an 'infrastructure' award by planning professionals >>> but "Towns such as Cranbrook are becoming dormitories and commuter belts for 'Greater Exeter' – meaning many people must take to their cars in East Devon to get to their jobs in Exeter."

The Cranbrook project might be receiving a gong for its 'infrastructure':

The Exe Estuary Trail and Cranbrook shortlisted for national industry awards

By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: April 02, 2015

The Exe Estuary Trail and the new community of Cranbrook have both been shortlisted for a prestigious industry award by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

The Trail and the Cranbrook scheme are finalists in the category of 'Excellence in Planning to Deliver Infrastructure' category in the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2015.

The award winning RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence highlight exceptional examples of planning and celebrate the contribution that planners and planning make to society.

Both schemes will be up against some of the best examples of planning in the country and winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony on Monday 6 July at the Pullman London St Pancras, hosted by The Rt Hon Nick Raynsford, the chair of the judges.

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence is also where the Silver Jubilee Cup has been awarded annually since 1977 to the entry judged to be the most outstanding from amongst the individual winners in the different categories.
Cranbrook is a new community in East Devon located 7 miles east of Exeter City Centre and developed in partnership with the Exeter & East Devon Growth Point, and Exeter City Council. It has the potential to accommodate over 7,500 new homes over the next 20 years.

Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Councillor Andrew Leadbetter said; "I am really pleased to hear of Cranbrook's inclusion in these awards. It demonstrates the result of working in collaboration with other local authorities and agencies and what can be achieved by a strong partnership. A new bus service for Cranbrook started at the end of May 2013 and work on the new Cranbrook railway station is underway. Construction has also started on neighbourhood shops and the new primary school is up and running. With its integrated transport routes and proximity to Exeter, we think it provides a fantastic place to live "

Janet Askew, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute said: “The shortlist reflects the very best planning projects, strategies and processes that are helping to make great places for people to live and work. The 80 finalists highlight exceptional examples of planning that have made an impact and brought considerable benefits. It will be a tremendous challenge picking individual category winners from such a high quality field.”

The Exe Estuary Trail and Cranbrook shortlisted for national industry awards | Exeter Express and Echo

Who is the RTPI?

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is the principal body representing planning professionals in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It promotes and develops policy affecting planning and the built environment.

Royal Town Planning Institute - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And planning is its remit:
RTPI.org.uk - mediation of space • making of place

But not every planner is keen on the RTPI:

Interview: The new radicals

30 May 2014 by John Geoghegan , 1 comment

Twenty years after a group of planning activists tried to take over the RTPI, Finn Williams is one of a new generation of planners keen to inject radicalism into the profession. John Geoghegan reports

Finn Williams

It’s been a tough few years for planners in the public sector. Not only have they had to contend with steep cuts to council budgets, they have also endured harsh criticism by the government and, at times, the opposition. The "enemies of enterprise" and "suffocating bureaucracy" are among some of the labels they have attracted.

But a newly-formed group of young planners is hoping to restore some pride and passion to the profession as well as inject some radical ideas into debates about planning. NOVUS is a collective of public sector planners affiliated to the Planning Officers Society (POS). It launched its manifesto last month at the POS spring conference, marking the occasion with a debate about radicalism in the sector alongside a previous generation of planning revolutionaries.

Formed in the 1970s, the Radical Institute Group (RIG) was a group of politicised planners who tried to take over the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and wanted to use planning as a tool to fight social and economic inequality (see panel, top right). Established by POS last year, NOVUS has made clear it wants to pick up the "baton" of radical thinking. Its one-page manifesto calls for a "bolder future for public planning".

Interview: The new radicals | Planning Resource

Meanwhile in East Devon, there have been several issues raised of late which question the Cranbrook project:

Building on protected countryside:
Planning application seeks to join Cranbrook and Rockbeare with 250 houses on green wedge | East Devon Watch
Cranbrook to swallow Rockbeare? | East Devon Watch
Villagers concerned over 250 homes plan that will connect Rockbeare to Cranbrook | Exeter Express and Echo

Concerns about energy infrastructure:
District heating (as supplied in Cranbrook) heavily criticised by Which | East Devon Watch
On the Money: Households face high costs and low satisfaction with district heating - Money - Business - London Evening Standard

Fears for a 'Greater Exeter':


6th April 2015

The article cited below blames not only high house prices but also the fact that many sites in the city boundary are now snapped up for student housing (which is not counted in Local Plans). With more than 18,000 students that means that Exeter is bursting at the seams and when a site (green or brown) becomes available in the city, the University snaps it up, leading to the “town v gown” mentality common in most big university cities.

The number of student dwellings in the city rose from 1,495 in October 2009 to 2,975 in October 2014 – an increase of 98.99 per cent.
says the article.

Towns such as Cranbrook and Newton Abbott are therefore becoming dormitories and commuter belts for what EDDC is already calling “Greater Exeter” – meaning many people must take to their cars in East Devon to get to their jobs in Exeter and those same people use their cars to get to entertainment and leisure facilities in the city. Bus travel is being cut not expanded, so no help there.

With EDDC’s choice of high economic growth for our Local Plan this basically means we now have to dance to Exeter’s tune – the more jobs Exeter creates, the more houses we have to build. The more sites the University buys in the city, the more workers must find alternatives elsewhere.

Exeter homes are unaffordable – so where do housebuyers go? | East Devon Watch
Exeter 'one of the least affordable cities' for home buyers | Exeter Express and Echo

See also:
Futures Forum: When is a development 'viable' or not?
Futures Forum: The Infrastructure Bill: "Infrastructure isn’t just about pouring concrete... It’s essential that we see infrastructure as a means to an end, not as an end in itself."
Futures Forum: Of Cranbrook and Greater Exeter
Futures Forum: Of Cranbrook and inappropriate development

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