East Devon Green Party (EDGP) object to the planning application for 590 more homes at Cranbrook, which would increase the number of proposed homes in the area with planning permission from 2,900 houses to 3,500. There are a number of problems which must be resolved by the developers before this permission should be granted.
- A new town is being created, but there is inadequate provision for access to and from the surrounding area. Local people will want to use the facilities at Cranbrook, and Cranbrook people will want to access the immediate countryside and villages around them. There is already more cyclists and pedestrians using the dangerous Station Road between Cranbrook and Broadclyst. The developers must contribute towards a new cycle and pedestrian bridge across the railway, allowing safe journeys between Broadclyst and Cranbrook.
- There are not enough parking places in the plan so inevitably the roads will be lined with parked cars, making cycling or crossing the road on foot more dangerous. There must be more parking.
- There are not enough pockets of green space. In particular, the play areas for children are too distant from some of the homes.
- New housing, buildings, and car parks are not encouraged or required to have PV panels, yet there are planning applications in the pipeline to carpet hundreds of acres of the surrounding countryside with PV panels. The new developments at Cranbrook and elsewhere in the area should be encouraged to help satisfy the local grid’s capacity for PV generated power.
- The energy efficiency of the houses could be much better, in terms of insulation and thermal mass, but the developers are instead relying on the piped heat from the power station, which is a less sustainable solution in the long term.
- There is no immediate prospect of an occupant for the “Medical Centre” in the community building, and the occupants of the new homes are unable to get to surgery with public transport. This is unacceptable for a new town.
Local Green spokesperson Henry Gent said: “We must have a pedestrian bridge across the railway before there is any more increase in the house numbers allowed at Cranbrook. The proposed bridge would have many benefits, including allowing Broadclyst people to get to the station at Cranbrook, as well as allowing Cranbrook people to access the wonderful landscape and rights of way of the National Trust estate which lies to the north of the railway.
“This is important, because the extra people at Cranbrook need to access the countryside, yet damage to the countryside must be minimised.
“By enabling cycle and pedestrian journeys, the bridge would have plenty of benefits, but no down side in terms of extra traffic on Station Road. The cost of the bridge could be met by contributions from developers. These should be a condition of additional planning permissions.
“A bridge at the station will be necessary anyway once the rail track is upgraded from one track to two. We propose that the timing of the bridge should be brought forward.”
Henry said: “Local people are upset because good farmland is apparently about to be carpeted with solar panels, yet so far there are very few panels going onto the roofs of the new developments. This does not make sense.
“It is shameful that an occupant of the new town without a car has to walk miles along one of the most dangerous roads in the area, with no pavement, to get to surgery. This would be bad enough in any situation but is unacceptable in what is supposed to be a modern and well resourced town. This must be sorted out before any more permissions are granted.”
(from a press release)