Plans for new country park resource centre in Cranbrook get the go-ahead

A perspective drawing of the new country park centre in Cranbrook.

A perspective drawing of the new country park centre in Cranbrook. - Credit: Archant

Planning chiefs have given the go-ahead for a new resource centre to be built at Cranbrook’s country park.

An artist's impression of the resource centre.

An artist's impression of the resource centre. - Credit: Archant

A reserved matters application for the facility, which is intended for use by uniformed groups, volunteer work parties and schools and colleges, was signed off by planning officers at East Devon District Council.

The 135sqm centre, which will be constructed on land west of Stone Barton, will also act as an office base for Cranbrook’s countryside team.

The proposals for the centre had previously been questioned by members of Cranbrook Town Council, who raised concerns over the facility’s expensive maintenance cost and ‘inadequate’ parking provision.

The application also attracted 11 letters of objection from residents, who said the resource centre would bring increased traffic to Stone Barton and create fresh highway safety issues.

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Main vehicular access to the centre is proposed to be taken directly from Stone Barton.

The access would service two parking bays and a number of cycle parking spaces.

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A delegated report written up by a planning officer said: “It is not envisaged that a large amount of traffic would be accessing the resource centre from Stone Barton, due to the limited number of parking spaces available but also because of the central location in which the resource centre is proposed...

“It is envisaged that a large number of people attending the centre would travel to the building on foot or by bicycle.

“If additional parking was required, this would be achieved within the adjacent town centre.”

Another issue flagged by Cranbrook Town Council was that the centre could be subject to vandalism when unsupervised out of hours.

However, the planning officer’s report said it is understood the centre has been carefully designed to ‘eliminate crime’ through the inclusion of timber shutters over the doors and windows. The report added: “It is considered a lockable gate would prevent unauthorised use of the centre’s car park.”

The centre will be funded from an existing section 106 agreement for the first 3,500 homes in Cranbrook. It will offer a main classroom large enough to house 35 pupils, two toilets and office space, and is permitted to only be open between 8am and 10pm daily.

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