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The New Community of Cranbrook in East Devon took yet another giant step forward at the weekend, when an estimated 1000-2000 people, some of whom may become the first residents, looked around the first show homes.
The developers Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon Homes and Bovis Homes reported an ‘unprecedented demand' for homes over the weekend at Cranbrook with some house hunters arriving at 6.00am to be the first to view and explore the show homes.
Nina Hester, Sales and Marketing Director for Persimmon Homes "We had the largest amount of foot traffic I have ever seen in 23 years at a new homes launch and I believe we saw in excess of 1,000 people over the Saturday & Sunday. Persimmon secured 7 reservations over the weekend & a further two on the Monday"
Taylor Wimpey sales office also experienced an unparalleled high demand for homes, with several people expected to return during the week to confirm reservations and at least 5 part- exchange requests.
Bovis Homes sales advisor Jayne Hill has been selling homes in the Exeter area since 1983. She said: "I have done some launches in my time but never seen anything like this - it was phenomenal! All I can say is, I'm glad we've got a large sales office. People were waiting on the doorstep when we opened on Saturday morning and from then on it was absolutely manic for the rest of the weekend. Some people were obviously making a day of it - visiting all the showhomes that are available here - and we got some great comments about Cranbrook from impressed customers. We've already got some reservations on the board and it's a very exciting prospect to be selling here. I'm feeling really positive about the level of interest we will continue to get in Cranbrook over the coming months and beyond."
Mike Owen Project Manager for the Consortium of house builders said "What a fantastic opening weekend, marking the genuine start of a new ‘community' with all the associated infrastructure such as the school and the multi-purpose building already in place. These elements made the start of the community much more real than I have experienced before, you normally would not see a school or a public building until much later in a development. This is truly a unique and exciting development."
Warm Welcome for Cranbrook Milestone
Councillors from East Devon District Council, Devon County Council, Exeter City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency have warmly welcomed this latest milestone, reached less than a year since work started at Cranbrook which is just off the old A30 near Rockbeare.
The homes in the new community will benefit from a eco-friendly district heating and hot water system, a new primary school and community building, a country park, new bus and cycle lanes, a new train station, major road improvements and are close to new employment sites including Exeter Science Park and Skypark which are being developed in tandem with the new community.
Cllr Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council said:
"Long in gestation, the new town of Cranbrook is fast taking shape with our partners' launch of the first homes attracting substantial interest from local people wanting to live and work locally. This tangible demonstration of confidence in East Devon's new town will make immediate inroads into the known demand for new housing in both Exeter and East Devon. Especially in these trying times, this is a success story without equal and a new jewel to add to the brilliant crown that is Exeter and the Heart of Devon. New homes for the next generations coupled with new jobs will be the enduring legacy of the many, present and past, who have striven long and hard to deliver this vision for the future."
Cllr Will Mumford, Chairman of the Exeter and Heart of Devon Growth Board and Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Enterprise and Employment, added:
"It's encouraging to see so much interest in Cranbrook, and with homes now going up for sale it is fast becoming a reality. This is an exciting development and as more homes are built I'm sure it will become increasingly popular, not just because of its handy location near a school and businesses, but also because of its eco-friendly credentials and its sustainable transport links."
Exeter City Council Leader, Cllr Pete Edwards, said: "The opening of the first show homes at Cranbrook marks another significant milestone in the continuing successes of the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point. Cranbrook, a project of national significance for its low carbon initiatives and early delivery of community infrastructure; rarely will you find another example where the primary school and community centre are constructed before the first homes are occupied."
The new homes and infrastructure work to support the project have been supported with investment of £16.6m from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which will see the first 300 built and support the delivery of around 1,100 in total.
Steve Jackson, Homes and Community Agency area manager added: "This is a key project for us because it meets the need for new homes in this part of the South West and supports the economic growth of the area.
"Cranbrook brilliantly demonstrates the contribution that housing can make to economic growth, by providing links with opportunities, jobs and further investment in the area. It is great to see that the first new homes are ready at Cranbrook. These are exciting times for Exeter and East Devon."
In February this year children currently attending Clyst Honiton Primary School visited the site of what will be their new school, in September they will start the new term and become pupils of St Martin's Church of England Primary School and Nursery, Cranbrook.
Under construction just across the road from the school is Cranbrook's multi-purpose community building. As the focal point of the community until the main town centre is built, the multi-purpose building will be 820 square metres of flexible space, providing a location, for a range of services such as a doctor's surgery, town council offices, the Police, the community development worker, other public bodies. The multi-purpose building can be easily reconfigured for different purposes, such as for sport, exercise, community meetings or a crèche, to enhance its function as a focus for the new residents.
For more information about Cranbrook and the other projects that make up the Growth Point visit: http://www.exeterandeastdevon.gov.uk/
Notes to Editors:
To arrange further comment / interview: please contact Growth Point Team Communications in the first instance:
Lesley Crocker: 07545 419 360 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Aspinwall: 07734 568923 email@example.com
For more information about Exeter and East Devon:
15 May 2012