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Cranbrook: from eco newtown to housing estate

  • by JW

There’s good news about new town Cranbrook:


East Devon : Grassy Field & Cranbrook… © Lewis Clarke cc-by-sa …

E-bikes coming to Cranbrook and Honiton stations


And there’s not so good news:

Cranbrook residents locked into district heating system

Cranbrook expansion plans


And it’s not getting any better:

How Cranbrook has gone from pioneering new town to almost unfit for purpose

What people really think about Cranbrook – Devon’s pioneering new town


This is Radio Exe’s take on things:


Cranbrook in danger of becoming ‘austerity town’

Cranbrook is on the verge of becoming ‘an austerity town’, councillors have been told.

Nearly 2,000 homes in the new town are currently occupied but the town is lacking all but the most basic of facilities. A supermarket, a town hall, a library, an auditorium, a skatepark, a youth centre, a children’s centre, retail units, and offices were all promised but have yet to be delivered.

Cranbrook was initially due to be delivered through a commercially-driven model with no public control of the land.

However, East Devon District Council’s cabinet on Wednesday night heard that the legal agreement that plays a critical role in establishing the trigger points for the delivery of facilities has become ‘an inflexible legal document which was negotiated in a different financial era’ and some of the facilities were ‘no longer fit for purpose’.

Andy Wood, Projects Director, told the meeting:

“The original vision for Cranbrook was as a freestanding new community which would be capable of supporting its own assets and services. In a constrained financial environment there is a need to actively reinvent how these will be delivered on a sustainable basis.

“Without this, there is a significant risk that Cranbrook will become an austerity town, bereft of the facilities and services that the population both expect and demand….”

Cranbrook in danger of becoming ‘austerity town’


As a Futures Forum piece suggested some five years ago:

Cranbrook: What’s the difference between a housing estate and an eco newtown?