Cranbrook is Local and Happy Says Poll

Fourth annual community poll reveals that 87% of residents think Cranbrook is a good place to live

The annual survey results reveal that East Devon’s new community of Cranbrook has continued to remain happy overall during the past 12 months. 

Results from the fourth survey of this kind show that the community spirit and friendly people continue to make Cranbrook special and people are moving from Exeter, East Devon and the wider county to make the new town their home.

During the winter residents responded to questions in the annual Cranbrook Community Questionnaire, devised by East Devon District Council with input from a range of organisations involved in the growing town. As well as the Cranbrook Community Questionnaire for adults, the Cranbrook Young People Questionnaire was also sent out to Cranbrook’s young people.

Questions in the Cranbrook Community Questionnaire were listed under a number of sections including: 'Your Community', 'Health & Wellbeing', 'Outdoor Activity', 'Travel', 'About You' and 'Contact Details' for those who wanted to be with a chance of winning £100 in shopping vouchers, just for completing the survey!

The headline results reveal that 87% of residents would recommend Cranbrook as a place to live and that 47% of people had moved to Cranbrook from Exeter, 20% from elsewhere in East Devon and 14% from wider Devon.

Councillor Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council said:
“Each year I find the results of the Cranbrook survey fascinating. These show that we are providing homes that local people want and need within an environment that provides for a high quality of life. Last year, residents were looking forward to a post office and a play area at Hayes Square, both of which are now open and a pub, which will be open very soon.

"I’m very proud of the continued progress being made in both providing new homes and economic growth, especially with the recent opening of the Enterprise Zone which includes Cranbrook town centre. We are really looking forward to the next 12 months.”

Best of Both Worlds

People mainly moved to Cranbrook as it is close to Exeter but still in the countryside, seeing it as an opportunity to have a brand new home, they could afford to buy for the first time and it being close to their place of work.

The services and facilities that are most wanted in Cranbrook are (in order); a leisure centre, a swimming pool, a gym, more local shops, Post Office (which has subsequently opened on 27 February after the survey had closed) and a big supermarket. These are very similar to last year’s comments, apart from the desire for a pub which featured in the 2015 wish list. As Cranbrook’s first pub, the Cranberry Farm is set to open after Easter.

Questions related to health and wellbeing, travel and outdoor activity will help to inform the development of policy and activities for Cranbrook becoming a ‘healthy new town’.

These revealed that 26% ate five or more portions of different fruit and vegetables the day before completing the questionnaire. 83% of residents spend over an hour a week walking now, with 90% estimating they will spend over an hour walking a week after the improvements to Country Park and cycleway improvements are complete.

The majority of respondents (66%) were aged 26 to 49 and 80% of respondents are employed full or part time.

Cash for Answers for One Lucky Resident!

One lucky Cranbrook resident, Sam Durston, returned her questionnaire, was picked at random and won £100 in shopping vouchers. Sam uses public transport to get to work in Exeter but also regularly uses the airport to fly to London for business. She bought a house in Cranbrook due to it giving her and her partner a garden and garage which she said wouldn’t have been possible in the city.

Sam Durston added: “I’m really pleased to have won the vouchers, it was a nice surprise. I think it’s important to take part in the annual survey, because people need to have their say how things develop, rather than doing nothing.  The survey also helped me learn more about what goes on here, especially about what’s available at Ashclyst Forest. We didn’t know about it before, but we’ve enjoyed walking there recently.  

“I like living in Cranbrook because it is so well connected with public transport which makes life easy. There are certainly more facilities in Cranbrook than when we moved here more than 2 years ago. We moved here because it gave us an opportunity to be part of the community as it grows.

“The vouchers helped me buy a printer, so we can print off things like boarding passes. I’m really pleased with it.”

The questionnaire was devised by East Devon District Council with input from Devon County Council (Travel Devon and Public Health), Exeter and East Devon Growth Point Team, Cranbrook Town Council and Cranbrook’s Community Development Worker at Action East Devon. EDDC donated time and resources to analyse the results using specialist software and paid for the printing, return envelopes, postage and additional officer time.

A paper copy of both questionnaires were delivered to all the occupied households in Cranbrook with a pre-paid return envelope. Residents also had the option of completing the questionnaires on EDDC’s website. 280 copies of the Cranbrook Community Questionnaire and 72 copies of the Cranbrook Young People’s Survey were returned.

In the Cranbrook Young People’s Questionnaire they felt the best things about living in Cranbrook were the friendly people, their friends and the community. The things they didn’t like were the bad behaviour of some children and young people and that there’s not enough to do in Cranbrook. 83% said they felt part of the community, whereas last year this was only 43%.

A summary of the full results of both questionnaires are available online at:

http://eastdevon.gov.uk/consultation-and-surveys/cranbrook-consultations