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PHASE 1 APPROVAL UNLOCKS £16.6 MILLION HCA FUNDING
WORK can begin within weeks on the first phase of Cranbrook, East Devon’s New Community, now that plans have been approved by East Devon District Councillors.
The approval unlocks a £16.6 million investment in the project from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), bringing with it a massive boost for much needed affordable housing in the area.
The detailed designs for the first 1,120 homes on the approved site off Honiton Road, Rockbeare, were given the go ahead today (Tuesday 8 March). The project already has outline planning permission that was granted following the completion of a Section 106 legal agreement, signed by all the public and private sector partners involved, which will ensure the delivery of vital social and community and transport infrastructure during the early stages of the project.
At the meeting of East Devon District Council’s Development Management Committee, Members approved a planning application for the first phase of the development. The application features site layout, construction details, external appearance and landscaping including new road connections into the site from the former A30.
As a result of the decision, the HCA has approved investment of £16.6m for the delivery of 300 affordable homes and infrastructure work which will support the wider development of a further 700 private homes to be sold on the open market. The decision takes the total amount of money invested by the HCA in the wider Cranbrook development to more than £33.5m and the level of public sector funding in the scheme to around £56m.
It allows developer partners Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey, Redrow and Hallam Land to begin the development within weeks. It also helps improve access to affordable housing in East Devon, where statistics show that house prices are more than 12 times the average household income for the area.
Phase one of Cranbrook will create 300 affordable homes in a range of house types to meet the needs of local families.
Steve Jackson, HCA area manager, who has worked closely with the consortium and Local Authority partners on developing the investment package, said:
“Cranbrook is one of the most important housing and employment projects in the South West and is rightly recognised as a top priority by the Council.
It has taken a number of years and a huge amount of effort from all of the partners to get to this stage. During that time, no-one has lost sight of the importance of this project and its potential to deliver much-needed new and affordable homes. Cranbrook will be a high quality mixed-use settlement, close to new employment opportunities and will support local economic growth.
I am delighted at the decision to approve the scheme, and look forward to seeing work start on the development of the first homes.”
The affordable homes will be jointly managed by Sovereign Housing Group and Devon and Cornwall Housing Association.
Nick Duckworth of Hallam Land, on behalf of the Consortium Partners said:
“The Cranbrook development bears testimony to what can be achieved through private public sector partnership. The fact that we are now in a position to commence this major new settlement, in what remains a very challenging economic environment, clearly demonstrates that when parties have a shared desire and commitment and focus in on the key issues much can be achieved.
As you can imagine, on a project of this scale, we have been working on Cranbrook for a long time. This project is quite unique in many ways and thanks to the public and private sectors working together will provide much needed new and affordable homes for Exeter and East Devon.”
Councillor Sara Randall Johnson, EDDC Leader, said: "Our plan has always been to provide jobs and homes close to each other, improving quality of life and reducing the need to commute. With the rising cost of fuel, Cranbrook is an excellent opportunity for new residents to take advantage of the jobs created at the Science Park, Skypark and in the new town, which could be up to 11,000.
The Homes and Community Agency’s funding means that affordable homes will become a reality for our young families looking for their own home. There will be an integrated mix of housing throughout the site, along with key social and community facilities including a new primary school and Multi-Purpose Building which will be available for new residents early on in the development.”
Councillor Pete Edwards, Leader of Exeter City Council and Chairman of the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point Partnership, said:
“The vision for Cranbrook is to create a self-sufficient, low-carbon New Community close to skilled employment opportunities, encouraging people to use sustainable forms of transport and to reduce the need for them to travel between work and home by car.
The challenge is to create an attractive and vibrant town, which combines the rich urban fabric of an historic Devon market town with the needs of a 21st century lifestyle; a town that responds to its setting and landscape and can be said to be ‘of Devon’. The development of a free-standing new settlement has not been attempted in Devon since the Middle Ages.”
It has been an enormous task for the local authorities and developers of Cranbrook to create a sustainable, vibrant and attractive new town from scratch.
Energy Centre sees carbon savings
East Devon District Council wants to see Cranbrook built to the highest possible standards of sustainabilty and by doing so become a trail-blazer for low-carbon mass open market housing developments.
Uniquely Cranbrook and the neighbouring Skypark will be served by an energy centre supplying both heat and power to homes and businesses. This will be run using biomass fuel in the future.
It is estimated that the biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant to generate electricity and heat for the first 2,900 homes at Cranbrook, could provide an estimated 10,000 tonnes of CO2 saving per year.
This has been achieved with funding support from the HCA's Low Carbon Infrastructure Fund; the Growth Fund; New Community Partners; E.ON and St. Modwen.
When this is achieved, Cranbrook will be the first mass open market development in the country to provide a district heating scheme on this scale.
8 March 2011
Notes to Editors
To download these images copy this link into your browser: https://picasaweb.google.com/101892088788001936078/CranbrookImages1?authkey=Gv1sRgCPL32qDayY3K4wE&feat=directlink
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The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England. Our vision is to create opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford in places they want to live, by enabling local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas.
For more information visit: www.homesandcommunities.co.uk
The HCA investment in Cranbrook includes:
Infrastructure funding: £1m
National Affordable Housing Programme: £15.6m
Growth Point funding: £6.342m
Community Infrastructure Fund: £7m
Low Carbon Infrastructure Fund: £3.6m
Planning and support fees: £120k
South West RDA funding through the Regional Infrastructure Fund £12m
Department for Transport – for Junction 29 £10.4
Grand Total: £56m
Section 106 Agreement for Cranbrook
A number of the triggers set out in the Section 106 will arise during the development of the area for which the reserved matters application is made. These include for instance:-
• Provision of annual bus service contributions following the occupation of the 50th dwelling;
• Provision of the multi-purpose building prior to the occupation of 150 dwellings;
• The provision of the primary school prior to the occupation of the 300th dwelling;
• The provision of agreed contributions in relation to off-site minor highways, footpaths and cycleways, youth facilities, community development worker and the town council contribution.
Of the affordable homes 199 will be available to rent and 101 will be available to buy or part-own.
In addition, 10% of the homes at Cranbrook will be designed to be affordable open market housing at a lower cost than the remaining 60% of the dwellings for sale.
Exeter and East Devon Growth Point is a partnership between East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council and Devon County Council, to deliver a number of strategic developments in the Exeter and East Devon area.
This growth point programme is also supported by the Homes and Communities Agency through their Growth Point funding schemes (HCA) and by the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) through Regional Infrastructure Funding (RIF) and a Delivey Team grant.
The vision for Exeter and East Devon Growth Point is to help Exeter and East Devon realise its full economic potential by providing a range of employment opportunities alongside new communities where people will have the ability to live close to where the majority of jobs will be provided.
Since being recognised by the Government as a Growth Point in 2006, Exeter and East Devon have made good progress with their strategic developments.
A dedicated Delivery Team has been established and is being hosted by East Devon District Council. Their purpose is to remove obstacles to the delivery of the developments and progress critical studies.
In total over £50 million worth of public funding has been made available to deliver sustainable development and once completed the value of these developments is likely to top £1 billion.
This illustrates the commitment being made by all the partner organisations and their desire to help Exeter and East Devon reach its full potential. For more information click here.
For media enquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Exeter and East Devon Growth Point
Drew Aspinwall, Communications Officer on 01395 571 744 / 07734 568 923
Homes and Communities Agency
Ben Lowndes, Communications Manager on 0117 937 7209
East Devon District Council (EDDC)
Nick Stephen, Communications Officer, on 01395 517 559