Eco-town cash for Cranbrook

Housing Minister John Healey today announced that East Devon District Council is to receive a share in a �10 million funding pot to help Cranbrook meet pioneering eco-town standards for sustainable growth.

Housing Minister John Healey today announced that East Devon District Council is to receive a share in a �10 million funding pot to help Cranbrook meet pioneering eco-town standards for sustainable growth.

The �200,000 share will enable East Devon District Council to develop their Masterplan for Cranbrook and test the potential for higher standards, helping them to lead the way as "Green Champions".

Talking about the addition of Cranbrook to the eco-town second wave shortlist, (together with a settlement in Fareham), Housing and Planning Minster John Healey said "I am pleased to announce two new areas in the eco-town second wave. Councils are making great progress and already highlighting where they can apply tough green standards in new developments. This signals real and radical momentum to change and re-think how we design our towns and homes for the future".

Cranbrook was first highlighted as a prototype eco-town in the Government's Eco-Town prospectus, published July 2007, where it was described as aiming to be "an exemplar new settlement, encouraging innovation in the development of new communities and providing a large scale test bed for some of the new technologies needed to achieve zero carbon".

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Councillor Ray Franklin, East Devon District Council's Portfolio Holder for Strategic Planning and Regeneration, was delighted to hear about today's announcement. He said: "It is fantastic that the Government continues to support Cranbrook as an exemplar prototype eco-town. Our aspirations for this new community are high, but with continued Government support I know we can be successful and I am confident that we will see activity on site very soon."

The vision for Cranbrook has always been to build a sustainable community where houses are provided close to employment opportunities, reducing the need for residents to commute long distances by car. Cranbrook is already leading the way with innovative approaches to reducing carbon emissions including a proposal for a combined heat and power district heating scheme to serve the whole community and the development of Skypark. If approved this scheme would help Cranbrook to become a zero carbon development and one of the first mass open market development in the country to achieve this.

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Although not an eco-town, the design for Cranbrook is a complete package of sustainable development which aspires to reach the eco-town standards, these include: open green spaces for recreation and education, a comprehensive public transport system, with a rail link, a net work of cycle and foot paths, well designed low carbon public building, sustainable energy solutions and the early delivery of social and community infrastructure.

Councillor Ray Franklin, added "I'm obviously pleased that the efforts of the team here at East Devon and in the wider Growth Point Partnership have again been recognised by the Government. But the real beneficiaries from this development will be the families who live there, who will have warmer homes with lower running costs, as well as knowing that they are helping the environment".

The public sector funding package now in place for Cranbrook is in excess of �50 million. This package compiled from a variety of sources including the South West RDA, the Growth Point Fund, the Homes and Communities Agency, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport; will help deliver the key infrastructure, which will go towards making Cranbrook an exemplar prototype Eco Town.

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