New community facilities brought forward for Cranbrook

smiley young people lying in a circle on the ground, head to head

Posted on: 10 October 2019

Devon County Councillors have agreed a proposal to bring forward the development of important community facilities for Cranbrook.

The new town has plans for a children’s centre, library and youth facilities to be built at key intervals in its development, tied with occupancy levels.

But as occupancy is rising, the County Council and other local agencies are seeing growing demand on health and social services, such that some community facilities are required sooner than first envisaged.

So a proposal to bring forward a multi-purpose integrated building, to be built in the next few years, was given the go ahead this week by Councillors.

The proposal will go through the usual planning process and public consultation.

The new building would be designed flexibly to host a range of Devon County Council services and be able to adapt to future changes in service provision.

It would include space for a children’s centre, youth services, adult social care, and library services, with potential use for public health and highways services.

The Council’s Public Health Nursing Service could share the children’s centre space.

The facility would support local community-based services within the town, and it is expected that there would be space for use or hire by other organisations.

The current plans require the developers to build the facilities only when certain trigger points are reached, but under the new proposal the County Council will work with partners including district and town councils, as well as the developers, to deliver these town centre facilities sooner.

Photo of Councillor Rufus Gilbert

Councillor Rufus Gilbert

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Economy and Skills, said:

“The existing agreement is for these key services – the library, youth and a children’s centre facilities – to be built over the next two to six years.

“But as the town is continuing to grow, especially noting the high proportion of families with young children and need for additional support, we must bring them forward.

“We believe that our proposed integrated community facilities building in Cranbrook’s town centre is the best way to provide these required facilities.

“It would allow residents to benefit sooner, and give us greater control over the design and delivery of the facilities.”

Councillor Sara Randall Johnson

Councillor Sara Randall Johnson

Cllr Sara Randall-Johnson, local member for Broadclyst, said:

“ It is great news, local residents will soon have access to these valued services in this new and exciting building right in the heart of Cranbrook.

“Whilst the children’s centre and youth services cater for our younger population, the library really is for everyone.  Having a wealth of books easily available for the bedtime story or the relaxing afternoon read can be enjoyed by us all.”

Councillor Ray Bloxham

Councillor Ray Bloxham

Cllr Ray Bloxham, local member for Broadclyst, said:

“For too long there has been a misunderstanding that the developers have sole responsibility to deliver the town centre facilities.  It is crucial that all three tiers of local government work together to bring forward much needed infrastructure. “

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