Blueprint for Cranbrook’s future goes to Secretary of State

East Devon District Council says it has submitted its Cranbrook Plan, including supporting evidence and consultation responses, to the Secretary of State for examination.

It includes minimum space standards to increase room sizes in new homes.

The Cranbrook Plan will sit alongside the East Devon Local Plan and will shape the future development of the new town.

It is hoped that the plan, which was submitted on August 2, will be examined during the autumn. It could be adopted as as early the beginning of next year, if it meets with approval.

An initial consultation on the scope of the plan was carried out in 2015, followed by an ‘issues and options’ consultation and then a further consultation on the council’s preferred approach for the future development of the new town.

Members of the council considered all the comments received and on February 27 agreed the submission draft of the plan for further consultation.

This final consultation on a draft of the plan was held in March and April 2019 and led to over 400 comments being received. These comments have all now been reviewed and submitted with the plan for examination.

The Cranbrook plan, together with its supporting evidence and the public comments received can be found on the East Devon District Council website.

“Community engagement has been a key part of production of the plan and the many comments received have helped to shape its content,” the council says.

It believes it represents the best way forward for the development of Cranbrook, which is already a bustling town with over 4000 residents, schools, shops, a community centre, GP practice and railway station, as well as a very attractive country park among its many features.

The comments received will be reviewed by a Planning Inspector, appointed by the secretary of state, who will consider the plan. The inspector is likely to hold a series of hearing sessions in public in the autumn to hear from parties who have made representations. These sessions will be publicised when they have been arranged. Following these sessions the inspector will prepare a report which the council hopes to receive early in 2020.

Once adopted, the Cranbrook Plan will provide a clear proposal for the delivery of the new town including key policies to deliver zero carbon development, a thriving town centre, new schools, open spaces, sports pitches and other community facilities.

‘Quality spaces’ in Cranbrook

The plan also introduces new minimum space standards to increase room sizes and the quality of spaces within the new homes planned for the town. The plan envisages that the town will grow to 7,750 homes with a population of around 18,000. It also aims to ensure that Cranbrook is a healthy place to live with the help of programmes that are already underway such as the NHS Healthy New Towns Programme, which has embedded the promotion of health and wellbeing in the town as well as the Sport England Local Delivery Pilot that seeks to tackle inactivity.

Cllr Susie Bond, Deputy Leader of East Devon District Council and portfolio holder for Strategic Development, said: “It is great to see the Cranbrook Plan submitted for examination.

“A huge amount of work has gone into producing the plan, which has been a long time in preparation. We have worked really hard to take on board the views of the community, the developers and other interested parties and reach agreement wherever possible.

“Unfortunately there are still some areas of disagreement but I hope that with the help of the Planning Inspector through the examination process we can find solutions that will enable the community at Cranbrook to continue to grow and thrive.”

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