Huge 870-home expansion of Cranbrook gets the go-ahead

A huge 870-home expansion of Cranbrook – which also features show and a school – has been agreed in principle.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Planning Committee has approved an outline application for a site at Bullheads, to the west of the new town, writes Local Democracy Reporter Ollie Heptinstall.

The scheme includes space for a primary school, sport and recreational facilities, community uses, green infrastructure, as well as a mixed-use area of shops, food and drink and professional services.

Changes to the road network include a roundabout in London Road, a secondary route from Station Road, and  access to Burrough Fields and Cranbrook railway station.

The Bluehayes plot, which lies between the existing Cranbrook development and Broadclyst Station, is one of four proposed expansion areas.

The site at Bluehayes, Cranbrook. Image from the planning application

The site at Bluehayes, Cranbrook. Image from the planning application

Council officers had recommended approval, saying the bid would ‘support the growth of Cranbrook’ and ‘make a significant contribution to local housing demands including affordable housing in a sustainable location’.

Concerns were raised by public speakers at the meeting over certain access points, the position of some facilities, and the development’s impact on the privacy of existing homes.

One local resident, speaking on behalf of Bluehayes Lane, wanted mitigation against any ‘substantial loss of amenity’ caused by the development.

She said it could ‘remove the ability of our children to freely play and explore the lane’.

Broadclyst Parish Council also objected, with concerns including pressure on a nearby railway bridge and the potential impact on Station Road.

But an agent on behalf of the applicant, Taylor Wimpey UK, said there would be ‘wide benefits’ including ‘biodiversity net gain, active travel, healthy communities, affordable housing and custom self-build plots’.

A total of 15 per cent of the properties – around 131 – will be ‘affordable’, while four per cent of plots will be set aside for custom and self-builders.

“I believe that, working as groups of stakeholders together, the proposals will result in a community that residents and the council can rightly be proud,” the agent concluded.

Councillors approved the application by eight votes to one, subject to a number of conditions and a Section 106 developer contribution towards local amenities being signed.

But one of those in favour, Councillor Steve Gazzard, said: “I do hope that concerns will be taken on board by the developer when we come to the full application.”

A final, detailed reserved matters application will be considered by the committee at a later date.

Affordable homes, traveller pitches, schools and takeaway restaurants are among plans for a new housing development coming near Cranbrook