‘Get on with it’ – East Devon announces the blueprint for Cranbrook town centre will be ready by the summer after more than 10 years of waiting

The end is in sight for the much-awaited Cranbrook town centre– more than 10 years of promising East Devon residents it would be built.

A masterplan to give Cranbrook a town centre is now to be drawn up more than a decade since construction began on the new East Devon settlement in 2011, writes local democracy reporter Will Goddard.

A high street is slowly emerging in the new town, with a supermarket, children’s nursery and shops with a town square currently being built and due to be complete this year.

These will be the first completed developments in the town centre since the Cranberry Farm pub was opened in 2017.

The site of Cranbrook town centre. Image: Still Imaging

The site of Cranbrook town centre. Image: Still Imaging

Now, after a public consultation with more than 1,700 responses, and East Devon District Council (EDDC) and Devon County Council having bought more land, a masterplan for the town centre is to be devised by EDDC by the end of this summer.

Cllr Olly Davey (Green, Exmouth Town) praised suggestions made by members of the public, which included having a leisure centre and a health and wellbeing hub, access to the town centre on foot, and good public transport.

He said: “Thank you to the residents of Cranbrook who clearly stepped up and filled in the consultation and enabled us to move forward with confidence that we are reflecting the views of residents on this occasion.

“Personally, I was very pleased to see the support there was for active travel and the desire to see better public transport, plenty of walking and cycling provision, as well as the kind of priorities as they saw it, being the leisure centre and health and wellbeing and so on.”

Cllr Kim Bloxham (Independent, Cranbrook) added: “Cranbrook town centre has been a long time in the making.

“I think I can say no more than please can we get on with it.”

East Devon Cranbrook

An aerial shot of Cranbrook.
Photo: EDDC

Cranbrook is expected to eventually have 8,000 houses and a population of 20,000. This would make it the second largest town in East Devon and one of the biggest in the county. It has a population of over 6,700 as of 2021.

A second new 8,000-home town is also on the way for East Devon. It will be built on land south of Cranbrook between Exeter Airport and Crealy Theme Park, with 2,500 homes expected by 2040.

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