On 10 July at East Devon District Council’s Cabinet meeting, councillors will consider how clean growth can be achieved in the west end of the district

East Devon District Council's Cabinet will meet on 10 July to consider a long-standing plan to achieve zero carbon development in Cranbrook and the surrounding area, including the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone.

The strategy for zero carbon growth has been in place since plans for Cranbrook were first agreed with a district heating network. Now future plans must be considered as a major milestone of 2000 homes in Cranbrook is reached.
In the absence of government policies to guide local authorities on these requirements to address the climate emergency, councils are being called on to take the lead.

Ben Ingham, Leader of East Devon District Council, said:

This is a real opportunity for East Devon to lead the way in clean growth and set an example for others to follow. The time is for action not just words.

If we accept the challenge, we can show that we are serious about tackling climate change by achieving zero carbon large scale development.  By working with energy partners, we can explore how technology could provide a cost-effective solution.

There are some important questions to be answered concerning financial investment, suitable technology that could solve the zero carbon question, and how the Council decides on its future direction of travel in addressing the climate emergency.

We need to be flexible and agile to achieve zero carbon growth and a clear pathway must be identified.

Cranbrook and Skypark are served by a district heating network, which provides all the heat and hot water needs for homes and businesses in that area.  A network of heat pipes connects every house to an off-site energy centre which heats the water to 85 degrees C.  Heat is transferred through a heat interface unit in each house meaning that there is no need for individual gas boilers. The energy centre produces both heat and power, with a private wire connection to the Lidl distribution centre.  The challenge is now to ensure that this energy centre moves to a zero carbon energy source.