Planning permission has been granted for the first expansion of Cranbrook - the largest scheme approved by East Devon District Council since permission for the new town was granted more than 13 years ago.

The expansion allows up to 1,435 homes and 10 permanent pitches for gypsies and travellers to be created. There will be a new three form entry primary school, a special educational needs school, a neighbourhood centre, land for a place of worship, a vicarage and a cemetery. There will also be play areas, allotments and large areas of green space.

The Cranbrook Plan, adopted in October 2022, outlines how the town will accommodate a population of around 20,000 people, while ensuring that it has the necessary facilities and services. The plan also requires low carbon development and financial contributions towards important facilities. This permission will contribute more than £4 million towards projects including a new health and wellbeing centre, a leisure centre, a fire station and improvements to London Road to make it more suitable for people walking and cycling.

The planning permission is important for a much-needed, new special educational needs school. Devon County Council has been successful in a bid to the Department for Education for funding to build and open the school on this site.

Three other planning applications for Cranbrook’s expansion are likely to see a further 2,085 homes along with another primary school, sports pitches, open space, play areas, allotments and neighbourhood centres. These planning applications will be issued when legal agreements are finalised.

Ed Freeman, Assistant Director for Planning Strategy and Development Management, said: "We are really pleased to see this planning permission issued. It will provide much-needed homes for people in East Devon as well as important facilities such as new schools, shops and play areas for the Cranbrook community. We look forward to seeing the town continue to grow, bolstering the strong sense of community that Cranbrook has fostered over the past 11 years."

Daniel Heathcote, Persimmon Homes’ South West Managing Director, said: "We’re delighted to have secured outline planning permission for our scheme at Cranbrook Cobdens.

"Throughout the planning process for Cranbrook Cobdens, we have worked closely with officers and stakeholders at East Devon District Council to ensure that our homes complement and enhance the local area.

"Persimmon has a proud record of delivery in Cranbrook and we are excited about the newest scheme as we continue to build the high-quality homes, leaving a positive and lasting legacy."

Meanwhile, the developers behind another large housing estate in the Grange expansion area of Cranbrook are inviting feedback from the public on their outline plans: read more here.