Plans revealed to start work on Cranbrook town centre sooner than expected
- Credit: Archant
A multi-purpose facility could be built in Cranbrook’s empty town centre within two years if funding is found. .
n Wednesday (October 9), Devon County Council's cabinet will consider whether to press ahead with a building what would include a flexible space for children's, youth, adult and library services with potential use for public health and highways services, as well as town council working space.
It is proposed that the existing agreement with Cranbrook's consortium of developers be renegotiated to help fund the new building, rather than proceeding with separate buildings for the different services.
An agreed trigger point of 2,000 homes being occupied has been reached, meaning developers must build children's centre facilities no later than June 10, 2021. The existing planning agreement requires developers to provide town council offices in the town centre by June 2021, and youth facilities and a library when the 3,450th home is occupied, currently expected to be in 2025.
A report by Dave Black, the county's head of planning, transportation and environment, says an integrated county council community facilities building represents the best way to provide the facilities.
Mr Black writes: "Given this opportunity to enhance the public realm in Cranbrook, and with it to improve community wellbeing and relations, the council will seek a range of capital funding from local and national partners to accelerate the delivery of the facilities in advance of existing trigger points.
"This scheme would result in significant public health benefits by provision of a community facility building providing dedicated space for provision of essential children's, public health nursing, youth, adult and library services."
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He adds that the alternative would be to allow delivery of separate buildings.
He writes: "A disadvantage of this default position is that it would involve later delivery of the youth and library facilities, when they are needed by the local community as soon as possible. It would also result in delivery of fragmented and inflexible buildings which are not favoured by the council and some partners.
"Later, or potentially no, delivery of these community buildings would contribute to Cranbrook remaining without a town centre that provides the facilities and services required for this growing town."