Saturday, 25 August 2018

An ever-expanding Cranbrook: "There are significant issues to resolve around how services and facilities are to be provided in the town in the future and how these are to be paid for."

The media has taken up the District Council's press release on how to meet central government's housing targets:
East Devon new homes plan | Honiton, Axminster and Seaton news - Midweek Herald
East Devon new homes plan | Breaking news & sport in East Devon | East Devon24

There are many issues at hand:
Futures Forum: District Council to consider government's latest forecast for minimum number of new homes to be built in East Devon > "Planning for the future will ensure we are not subject to the whims of others."

Not least of all, the excuses the political leadership could give for not building more housing in most of the District - because 'Greater Exeter' is expanding so rapidly in the western part of East Devon:
Futures Forum: Greater Exeter Strategic Plan for Exeter, East Devon, Mid Devon and Teignbridge and the plans for new housing >>> CPRE seminar with MP Hugo Swire: Friday 19th January


Firstly, most of us haven't heard of the GESP - let alone understand what it's all about:
The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan - A development plan for the future of the Greater Exeter area

Loads of 'consultation' has happened apparently:
Exeter Plan - Have Your Say
Issues (Regulation 18) - Greater Exeter Strategic Plan

But there appear to be some teething problems:
18 month delay on the draft Greater Exeter Strategic Plan - Devon Live

We have more pie-in-the-sky 'aspirations' which cannot be predetermined or enforced: 

The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) will allocate development in sustainable locations and require developers to mitigate air quality impacts.

New tests reveal MORE areas of Exeter with high or illegal air pollution - Devon Live

Because increased traffic and lack of extra infrastructure around the thousands of new houses will continue the increase in air pollution:
'We need better public transport in Exeter' say fed-up residents fighting air pollution - Devon Live
New park-and-ride plans for edge of Exeter thrown into doubt - Devon Live


Secondly, there is the related expansion of the once-upon-a-time 'eco-town' which is now becoming just another massive suburb to Exeter: 
Futures Forum: Cranbrook loses its town centre to become a dormitory suburb of Exeter
Futures Forum: Cranbrook: a town without a centre > or just another massive housing estate?

Because this is still a town without a centre - and the District Council doesn't know what to do about it - other than allowing yet more housing to be built.

As announced back in April:
Detailed plans revealed for more homes in Cranbrook 'New Town' - Devon Live

With more flesh on the plans this week - plus very jaded comment below: 

More details revealed about the next stage of Cranbrook expansion plans

By 2031 Cranbrook will have homes for 20,000 people and it will be the second biggest town in East Devon

Daniel Clark 20 AUG 2018

... There are also significant issues to resolve around how services and facilities are to be provided in the town in the future and how these are to be paid for, as the town has been founded on the basis of being led by the private sector and public services have limited resources to invest, the report added, saying it is however important that the town has everything it needs to function like any other town.

Location of Cranbrook town centre


Neville Thumbtrap

The place is growing quicker than a tumour. What will happen if it continues to take the same form as it is currently? Soulless, sterile and isolated, it is not anywhere I would want to raise a family. There will be trouble ahead unless planners accept that this is not a "town", but huge dormitory for Exeter and the M5 corridor. They are objecting to shopping centres away from Cranbrook, but appear completely unable to attract large business investment into the development. So far it has a Co-op, a chemist and one pub. Yipee.

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