Parish residents want wedge between Rockbeare and Cranbrook to remain green

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 September 2018

The Green Wedge between Cranbrook and Rockebeare. Ref mhc 38 18TI 1501. Picture: Terry Ife

The Green Wedge between Cranbrook and Rockebeare. Ref mhc 38 18TI 1501. Picture: Terry Ife


Residents of Rockbeare have almost unanimously chosen to adopt a Neighbourhood Plan for the village that would ensure the wedge between it and Cranbrook stays green.

The Rockbeare Neighbourhood Plan, prepared by a working group of volunteers on behalf of Rockbeare Parish Council, represents a shared vision for the area.

Mark Readman, chairman of the Rockbeare Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, said the aims and the objectives reflect a ‘positive attitude to development and change’.

They also aim to ensure the parish continues to offer a ‘high quality and sustainable way’ of living in an ‘attractive rural environment’ as it has done so for so many years.

A referendum last week to decide whether to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan for Rockbeare was backed by 91 per cent of the village, with a turnout of 31 per cent.

The plan says that Rockbeare is under threat from all sides.

Cranbrook is being built to the north which, when at its full extent of 8,000 homes, will dwarf the village. The east and west of Rockbeare have been prone to recent floods, with the ‘once in a hundred year’s storm’ now seeming to be a ‘once a year one’.

The south of the village lies under the flight path to Exeter Airport.

Currently the village is protected by an area designated by East Devon District Council as a ‘green wedge’.

The plan states: “Rockbeare Parish wants to be kept physically separate from the proposed developments in East Devon’s West End and any perceived detrimental impact and urbanisation that they may bring with them.”

Policies in the plan include resisting proposals that would see the loss of natural woodland, public rights of way improvements will be supported if wildlife corridors aren’t harmed, development should not harm five key panoramas and views, development in the designated green wedge area will not be supported, proposals to improve cycle routes will be supported, and that all development should make adequate provision for high speed broadband.

East Devon District Council will now make the plan and it will become part of the development plan for East Devon.

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