Latest News - Exeter and East Devon Growth Point

Sky’s the Limit

Exciting Times for Exeter & East Devon Growth Point

Feature - East Devon Talk Autumn 2009

Work on East Devon's long awaited new community of Cranbrook could finally be about to start thanks to a series of successful funding bids and what's more; it could become a "zero carbon" trail blazer.

The planned new community of Cranbrook could become the first mass open market development in the country to provide all its residents with a combined heating and power (CHP), district heating scheme, powered from a locally-sourced sustainable wood fuel known as biomass.

For the new residents of Cranbrook this would mean reduced energy bills and unlimited hot water.

This is thanks to a £2.5 million pound grant from the Homes and Communities Agency's (HCA) Low Carbon Infrastructure Fund, designed to encourage ‘zero carbon' development in line with Government targets.

It is estimated that the installation of a biomass district heating scheme for the first 2900 homes at Cranbrook, could provide an estimated 10,000 tones of CO2 saving a year.

Colin Molton, Regional Director for the Homes and Communities Agency, said: "This is a great example of how the HCA can push boundaries to help make the South West a leader in the promotion and delivery of truly sustainable development solutions. "

Although there are other district heating and low carbon schemes around the country, Cranbrook would be the first to install combined heating and power on this scale in the open market.

Package of Support

The HCA's investment is just one part of a much bigger package of support for Cranbrook from the public sector which includes over £6 million pounds from the Growth Fund and £7 million from the Community Infrastructure Fund.

In addition to this the South West RDA (Regional Development Agency) recently agreed a further £12 million pounds worth of Regional Infrastructure Funding to help kick start the Cranbrook development.

Through their Regional Infrastructure Fund (RIF) the RDA will provide funding toward the Clyst Honiton Bypass, the first primary school, and a main access road into the new community. This new investment brings the total amount of funding through the RIF to £22 million pounds.

Ian Piper, Director of Development & Regeneration, for the South West RDA, said: "It means work to create thousands of new jobs and new homes can get under way, delivering the environmentally sustainable growth that is vital to our long term economic future and putting the region in a great position to make the most of the economic recovery when it comes."

In total over £50 million pounds worth of public sector funding has now been made available to help deliver all the developments in the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point area. Together these funds will not only enable building work to begin at Cranbrook but they will unlock the other key projects in the growth area, such as Skypark business district, Flybe Skills Academy and Exeter Science Park.

East Devon District Council 2009