Artist impression of Cranbrook town centre. (c) HDD

More than 1500 local people shared their views on how Cranbrook’s new town centre should look in a recent public consultation.

Cllr Paul Arnott, Leader of East Devon District Council and Chair of the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone, said:

My heartfelt thanks go to everyone who joined in conversations about the future of Cranbrook. This is a crucial phase in the development of a centre for this 21st Century town.

It’s wonderful that so many of Cranbrook’s residents shared their inspirational ideas!

All the feedback received will now be compiled and reviewed. It will help to decide what should be included, what should be built first and where it should be built. The views will then be used by EDDC and its partners to create a long-term town centre masterplan in summer 2024.

Two randomly-chosen survey respondents won a £50 voucher each as a thank you for taking part. The lucky Cranbrook winners were Andrea from Shareford Way and Zack from Higher Field Drive.

Cranbrook town centre is one of the sites in Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone. The first shops, the beginning of a town square and a Morrisons supermarket are currently being built.

A spokesperson from Morrisons said:

We know that the residents of Cranbrook are eagerly awaiting a new supermarket in the town and expected a Morrisons store to open in 2023. The development has taken a number of years to come forward and we are currently reviewing the original design and layout of the store to ensure it still reflects the needs of the community. We hope to share a detailed update of our latest plans in the coming weeks.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) bought 3.85 acres of land next to the supermarket and will receive more from the developers. There is a lot of work to do before more facilities are built in the town centre. Legal agreements are being put in place which mean developers will contribute millions of pounds towards facilities and spaces in the town centre, like a library and leisure centre.

Next steps

The responses will be analysed and the information used to help draw up a town centre masterplan. The masterplan will show how the town centre will be laid out and what kind of place it will be. There are proposals to build a youth centre, children’s centre and library. The Town Council is aiming to develop a community building which will also house the town council offices. A leisure centre is included in the EDDC Leisure Strategy and there are plans for a Health and Wellbeing Hub and a Fire Station. More needs to be done to finalise how each of these buildings will happen. In challenging financial times, this includes finding the full amount of money to build them as the developers will not fully fund everything. The Council is committed to working with its partners to realise the ambitions for a 21st century town centre for Cranbrook that meets the needs of people who live, work and visit there.