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Housing Minister, Kris Hopkins visited Cranbrook in East Devon on Thursday (19 June 2014) to see progress on the second crucial phase at the brand new community, which was the first project in the country to benefit from the Government’s Local Infrastructure Funding.
Cranbrook is one of the largest housing and employment developments in the country and is set to be Devon’s first free-standing new community since the Middle Ages. Already well underway, the development will create 6,000 new homes, schools, social and community buildings, sports facilities and retail provision, a country park and a railway station.
The Government invested £20m from the Local Infrastructure Fund for phase 2 of the development, to fund an education campus and the infrastructure to create the new town centre. The funding will help maintain the rate of house-building at 500 homes a year, playing an essential part in accelerating major growth in the area which is estimated to be worth around £1bn to the local economy in terms of the value and jobs it will create.
As part of his visit, Kris Hopkins first met and discussed progress with the key partners including representatives from the local councils, housing associations, developers, the head teacher of St Martin’s Primary School and those involved in community development in Cranbrook.
Following a tour of St Martin’s Primary School and Nursery which currently has 276 pupils and the rest of Younghayes (Cranbrook Phase 1), which now has over 700 occupied homes; he then met construction workers and local apprentices on the site of the education campus as part of the second phase, hearing first hand how they had benefitted from the development.
The education campus will provide 420 primary school places with early years provision and up to 1,000 secondary places within one development and will be complete in September 2015. Phase two will see a further 2,380 homes being built.