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The expansion of Cranbrook comprising up to additional 820 residential dwellings, one 1-form entry primary school, a cemetery and associated building, sports and recreation facilities including children's play, an extension to the country park, green infrastructure (including open space), community uses (including non-residential institutions) and cemetery. Access from former A30, landscaping, engineering (including modelling and drainage) works, demolition, associated infrastructure and car parking for all uses. All matters reserved except for access.


Additional Info

  • Application Number: 15/0045/MOUT
  • Street: Cranbrook Expansion Zone West
  • Village: Station Road, Broadclyst
  • Closing date for comments: Wednesday, 08 April 2015
  • Did we Support?: Meeting not yet held
  • EDDC Decision: Not Decided Yet
  • Our Comments:
    1. Highways
      • Junction 29 will be over capacity within 15 years
      • The anticipated and relied upon use of public transport remains to be proven evident, with a recent survey revealing an average of 2 cars per household in Cranbrook
      • The B3174 (old A30) is now busier than it has ever been with long queues in the morning to join it at the Station Road and Bluehayes lane junction; this is with just over 1,000 dwellings occupied. With the proposed developments along its route it is not unreasonable to anticipate traffic on this stretch of road will increase 10-fold as the build-out continues.
      • The section of old A30 which runs through Clyst Honiton/Blackhorse village has been downgraded to a C road, yet it is a bus route and is likely to be the main tributary for the Tithebarn link road. It is therefore essential this road be upgraded back to a B road at the minimum to ensure the necessary level of maintenance funding is available so it can carry the extra traffic which will no doubt use it to access the north eastern side of Exeter via the Tithebarn link road. 
      • Access to the eastern expansion area and other developments along London Road is likely to be from Daisy Mount. CEMP conditions which include compulsory wheel washes are requested to be added so as to safeguard the local road network.
      • A further condition is requested that any damage caused to the road condition by site traffic be addressed within a reasonable time frame and put right at the cost of the developer not the County.

    Given these points, the Joint Parishes feel it is absolutely vital to work closely with Highways department and imperative to ensure an adequate level of funding is secured via Section 106 agreements to make necessary improvements to the whole length of the old A30 so it may effectively and safely service all areas of the Growth Point.

    1. Public Transport
      • Buses: There is currently a poor level of bus service linking Cranbrook to Exeter and other East Devon towns. Because of this, early residents are now in the habit of using private cars for commuting, shopping and leisure trips. The provision of and use of sustainable modes of transport such as a regular bus service which links Cranbrook to main hubs of employment and local shops and services across the area is therefore a key element to getting cars off the road and  ensuring the transport system supports these strategic developments.
      • No buses are planned to use the Bypass. Although buses may use part of it to access and exit Skypark , they will then continue on along the Old A30, no buses are planned to travel along the Bypass from Cranbrook to the Exeter Airport or its Business Park, for example. There is no bus stop as yet on the Bypass either, therefore the users of Skypark and future developments on the Intermodal freight terminal site cannot go direct to the Airport.
      • The inclusion of a regular bus service which connects the train station at Cranbrook to the Airport and it's business park (which actually has some significant and international related businesses on it!) would offer an excellent way of connecting London to the Airport.
      • Rail links: getting people off the roads and on to railways is only likely to happen on provision of a regular rail service which serves the new town and major stations along the route. The station is situated towards the western end of the town and for many will not be considered an option unless it is made an attractive mode of transport in terms of price and service. Pump-priming which supports a competitive rail travel package is one way in which this could be delivered.
    2. Education
      • Primary - The provision of Primary schools across the expansion zones must be carefully considered in a manner which is cohesive with existing schools in the locale. The viability of smaller village Primary schools at Whimple and Rockbeare should not be compromised.
      • Secondary - Across the Growth Point, there are several  new primary schools proposed, including those outside Cranbrook at Westclyst and Mosshayne.
        Devon County Council’s Education Infrastructure Plan 2013-2031 calculates the need for secondary school places at Cranbrook will be 1,000, which will be met by the Cranbrook Education Campus. However this Plan was written using data which was collected up to 2012 and based on Local Plan figures at that time.
        The Joint Parishes now question if this provision can be considered adequate to address the need for increased secondary school places which will inevitably arise from additional developments which have come online since that time, such as Mosshayne, and ask that the Planning Authority carefully considers a revision to enable the most recent changes in the emerging Local Plan West End housing numbers to be reflected.
    3. Employment / Economy
      • The Growth Point vision is to deliver over 25,000 jobs up to 2026, but in order to support the early economic development and stability of the town is it critical that employment opportunities are brought forwards at the same rate as residential properties
      • Exeter International Airport is a major employer in the area and is a key part of the local economy. We look to the LPA to protect it from becoming an unwilling victim of its own success through sensitive siting of residential dwellings in close proximity to its boundaries, especially to the northern side of the Airport where the engine testing takes place, often late at night.
        Mitigations, for example higher building noise insulation requirements, only go so far as people like to sit outside in their gardens and enjoy the many parks and open spaces in the area. A significant rise in complaints against the Airport could have a devastating long-term effect on the local economy which must be avoided at all costs.
        The Joint Parishes agree it is imperative not to have any restrictions on night flying.
    4. Health and Welfare
      • There would seem to be a distinct lack of healthcare provision throughout the Growth Point and expansion zone areas. Recent reports state that the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital is overstretched now and the Joint Parishes have very grave concerns that the health and welfare needs of the growing town will not be adequately met, potentially putting lives and quality of life at risk.
        A development of this size will have significant major impact on existing healthcare hubs.
      • It would appear there is no provision for the elderly or infirm, with no bungalows / sheltered housing proposed in any of the expansion zones. Although the demographic of Cranbrook is younger than average (40 in Cranbrook as opposed to 44 across Broadclyst Parish) this will obviously change with time and the ability to meet the future needs of the changing demographic tomorrow must be prepared for through the Planning System today.
    5. Sustainability
      • Community amenities such as neighbourhood centres and sports facilities should be designed to a fit-for-purpose specification and delivered along with a business plan to ensure their sustainability. The consideration of how such amenities will operate should be considered as part of the Masterplan; for example the sports pavilion be run by a Management Committee comprising representatives of different user groups. This not only gives a sense of ownership to user groups but has other financial and operational benefits.
      • Consider if best use of the available space is being made; for example, the proposed sports pavilion which serves the eastern pitches could easily incorporate a second floor meeting room which could be hired out to community groups as a second source of income which eases the financial burden on user groups and the tax payer. Why build a basic single story changing room block building when it could easily be turned into a community asset which serves a much wider need than simply as a changing facility?
      • Allotments – to compliment Cranbrook’s ethos, many more allotment pitches are required, especially as many dwellings have smaller than average gardens. Again, more efficient use of available space could easily free up additional allotment land without compromising housing numbers.


    The above comments are applicable to all expansion areas and are intended to give a holistic overview of the entire new community. The following comments relate specifically to individual applications. It is also noted that when Cranbrook was proposed to the local residents, they were promised that it would not join  with local settlements. The mitigations suggested below would enable that promise to be kept as well as still delivering the required number of houses in the western expansion area.


    Western expansion area:

    Green wedge / Flood mitigation
    The Western expansion area is proposed to abut existing properties on the Eastern side of Station Road. In order to protect the identity of each settlement and to mitigate drainage/flooding issues which exist and originate in the field being developed, a buffer zone / green wedge of 60ft+ is desired, incorporating a landscaping and planting scheme which clearly defines what is the new build of Cranbrook and the existing historical settlement of Broadclyst Station.
    Broadclyst Parish Council has provided sandbags to houses in the area on more than one occasion to deal with the flood water coming off the field
    The existing hedges support a wide range of wildlife, and should be preserved.
    Houses in Shercroft Close, which is immediately adjacent to the proposed development, have flooded; new homes built in the immediate vicinity will be under threat of flooding. A buffer zone which incorporates Flood attenuation ponds could effectively mitigate this danger and with the right landscaping and pathways could be made part of the green infrastructure.


    Primary School
    The relocation of the primary school to a more central site is suggested for the safety of students, so that the quality of life for residents in Station Road is not adversely affected by the noise from the school and to build it on a site less prone to local flood issues.

    High buildings

    It is requested high buildings are placed towards the north and centre of the area so that housing towards the edges of the build are of a similar ilk to, and compliment, existing built landscape.

    Retail opportunity

    It is suggested the area would benefit from offering a small retail opportunity given it will contain a school, open parkland, large play area and cemetery, all of which will attract regular footfall throughout the year and are located a fair distance away from the nearest shops at Younghayes Square.


    Water supply

    Many of the properties along Station Road have their own private water supply from a well. There is concern as to what effects development in such close proximity might have on the quality of water.



    The western expansion site is in close proximity to the airport, especially to the engine testing area. Engine testing can take place at any time, but often happens late at night and can go on for several hours; complaints from this potentially has a damaging long-term effect on the airport’s operation. Complaints from local residents will  potentially impact on Exeter Airports ability to offer night flights. We cannot stress enough what an important regional asset this is and ask if the airport has been consulted, especially about the impact the potential banning of night flights will have to their viability and growth.   
    As outlined above,


    Access to Broadclyst Station and beyond

    It has always been stated there will be no vehicular access directly off Station Road into the western expansion zone due to the well-documented dangerous status of Station Road.
    A non-vehicular route between the two settlements would link Broadclyst Station which offers employment opportunities, retail and childcare facilities to Cranbrook, and offer residents of Station Road safe pedestrian access to Cranbrook Station and the nearby school/play area etc.
    This would need to be carefully planned and delivered in such a way as to be suitable for wheelchair users and parents with prams whilst prohibiting motorised vehicles.
    Development in the western end of the town provides an opportunity for north-south green infrastructure links to be delivered. In order to do this safely,  some way of crossing the railway away from traffic; the existing bridge does not allow for pedestrians so an alternative route should be provided. Due to the long history of documented flooding in this area an underpass would not be suitable, therefore a footbridge which allows safe pedestrian and cycle movements between north and south is the only realistic option. There has to be one somewhere along the line! The western expansion zone has employment and retail opportunities to its north as well as being in the close proximity to Broadclyst village with its many facilities and existing cycle/Public Rights of Way network which links to Exeter, Killerton and beyond.


    Eastern Expansion area:

    The desire is that Whimple must remain a sustainable community with its own shop, railway station and vibrant community life.

    In order that the trains may better serve both communities a much improved service is required along with substantial improvements to the track including dualling to enable ease of access to employment and healthcare services.

    Flooding issues need to be addressed.

    Southern Expansion area:


    Primary school

    Although the school is centrally located, its playing fields are a distance away. It is not clear if these playing fields are specifically only for the school or if they will serve the community, however there doesn’t appear to be any parking, neither are there any changing facilities or toilets.


    Play areas / Child protection
    Passive supervision from surrounding housing has been proven to play a key part in protecting children and indeed the equipment in the play areas themselves. The proposed sites for the LEAP and NEAP offer little in the way of passive supervision which is cause for concern and an amended layout should be drawn up which affords children more protection than the current layout.


    The traffic generated (residential and employment-related traffic) will have a huge impact on the neighbouring villages, especially Clyst Honiton and the old A30. Recent Neighbourhood Plan survey evidence confirms the Clyst Honiton bypass continues to be bypassed, with traffic instead cutting through Blackhorse to Junction 29. 

    Extending the current 7.5 tonne weight limit to cover the whole of the Clyst Honiton/Blackhorse area would go some way to being able to enforce travel plans which are currently only observed by existing businesses out of courtesy.



    The whole southern expansion site is over-ridden by its proximity to the airport, with it also being very close to the engine testing area. It is questionable if this is suitable in any way for residential development and we ask the LPA to very carefully consider if a more suitable site can be found for the proposed 1550 dwellings.

    The Joint Parishes underline their commitment to work with all parties to assist in the delivery of a vibrant sustainable community which we will be delighted to have as our neighbour. The comments made in this document are the result of the consolidation of a great depth of local knowledge from many elected Councillors who came together to discuss how the future of Cranbrook could be best delivered and we trust they will be given due weight and consideration.


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