Saturday, 8 September 2018

Thousands of new housing at Cranbrook - and still the District Council says "it is a it is a difficult and uncertain time to be planning a new town centre"

Can a place be called a 'town' if it hasn't got a town centre?
Futures Forum: Cranbrook loses its town centre to become a dormitory suburb of Exeter

Because lots and lots of housing doesn't make a town:
Futures Forum: 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."

And meanwhile, all the 'retail' is planned for shopping centres miles from any town centre:
What's the future for retail parks in Exeter and Devon? - Devon Live

Even though one particular out-of-town shopping centre has been denied planning permission:
The Moor Exchange development was turned down unanimously:
Major new £40m Exeter retail park is thrown out by planners - Devon Live

And one of the reasons was the 'impact' on Cranbrook 'town centre': 

The five BIG questions raised by shock refusal of Exeter retail park

Daniel Clark Local Democracy Reporter
14 AUG 2018

What does this mean for Cranbrook?

East Devon District Council and the Cranbrook consortium had objected to the plans based partly that there was no impact assessment of the proposed Cranbrook Town Centre.

The council in their objections said that there is already development in the consented town centre at Cranbrook which would face competition from this development, and emerging developments will also be affected. Will developers and retailers now look towards Cranbrook for new sites?


This will affect one that is already in Cranbrook ? Oh do tell me where it is...is it invisible or perhaps only shows up at certain periods of the moon? Because as far as I and the rest of the Cranbrook residents the area set aside 'for the development' has nothing on it but grass !!!

The five BIG questions raised by shock refusal of Exeter retail park - Devon Live

As the East Devon Watch blog notes, this is not the end of it:

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.

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

There are indeed other sites - apart from the the proposed 'Moor Exchange' - to the west of Exeter which would impact on any 'town centre development' in Cranbrook:

'Major opportunity lost for Exeter' say rejected retail park developers - Devon Live

Meanwhile, the building of more housing continues in earnest: building places for people to live in, but no centre to make it a town:
Document detailing Cranbrook’s 8,000 home expansion to be published by end of 2018 | Honiton, Axminster and Seaton news - Midweek Herald

And the District Council continues to be playing to the tune of developers - who have upped the number of houses occupied before they will provide any further Community Infrastructure Levy for a skate park: 

Hundreds of homes still need to be occupied before Cranbrook’s first skatepark can be built

07 September 2018 
Callum Lawton

Hundreds of more homes need to be occupied in Cranbrook before the chance to build a skate park can be unlocked for the town. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

More than 500 homes still need to be occupied in Cranbrook to unlock the opportunity for the town’s first skatepark to be built.

The Herald can reveal that once 2,250 homes are lived in at Cranbrook, developers are required to provide the amenity.

As of April 2018, Cranbrook had 1,734 occupied homes – meaning 516 houses still need to be filled to trigger the build of the skatepark.

A spokesperson for East Devon District Council said: “The planning permission for Cranbrook secures funds to deliver a skateboard park within the town centre and the developers are required to provide it prior to occupation of 2,250 homes.

“The trigger had previously been 2,000 homes.

“This number was recently varied to enable further discussions about options for the location of the skate park and consideration of how it sits alongside the numerous other activities proposed for the 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 skatepark 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.”

Cranbrook – town centre and skateboard park problematical | East Devon Watch

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