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Bike-use integral to Devon's first free-standing settlement in centuries...

The first free-standing settlement to be built in Devon since the Middle Ages will feature an integral network of cycle lanes and other sustainable travel options.

Cranbrook, a £100m low carbon community will be built in East Devon now that it has received planning permission, reports Insider Media.

Situated on the outskirts of Exeter, the community will have 2,900 homes in addition to schools, a community centre, an energy plant and a library. The developers include Hallam Land Management, Redrow, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon Homes, with construction slated to start in early 2010.

“Cranbrook will be a unique development and we are confident that the planning package achieves the right balance of ingredients to ensure a successful and vibrant new community,” said Persimmon Homes managing director Simon Perks.

As a large scale low carbon development, Cranbrook will provide combined heat and power district heating to all residents, using an ‘energy centre’ to supply the pipe network.

A mix of private and public sector finance will finance the development including £6m of Growth Point Funding and £12m from the South West RDA’s Regional Infrastructure Fund.

Additional funding is coming from the Department of Transport’s Major Scheme Bid, to go towards the improvements at Junction 29 of the M5. A further £3.6m of grant funding has come from the HCA’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Fund. The £20m ‘energy centre’ for the scheme is being provided by E.ON.

Cranbrook will include a bus route to and from Exeter, a multi-purpose building which will be home to the first library and community facilities until the town centre is built, two primary schools, a secondary school, a new railway station on the Exeter to Waterloo line and a country park.

Cranbrook is being built close to Exeter Science Park and the Skypark business district. East Devon District Council believes hopes this will encourage residents to use other modes of transport, such as the bus, train or bike in preference to the car.

East Devon District Council leader Sara Randall Johnson said: “There will be a network of sustainable transport options built into the design for the new community: including cycling routes and bus stops located no more than a few minutes walking distance from each dwelling.

“We want to encourage the new community to quickly develop its own sense of place and to become a splendid addition to the existing market towns of East Devon and a worthy neighbour to the nearby City of Exeter”.
 

8 comments

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pickles [29 posts] 7 years ago
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There have been lots of towns built in the 20th century with 'integral networks of cycle lanes'.

They are almost universally sh*te.

Milton Keynes, Harlow, Stevenage to name but 3 examples.

All have networks of ghastly subterranean cycle paths, ill-lit, underused and a total failure.

Such an approach can only work if the alternative network for motor vehicles is much slower and more inconvenient.

Given that they are 'improving' junction 29 of the M5, it's clear where their priorities lie.

At least it's got a railway station as well. Most of these 'urban extension'/new town jobbies don't even have that (see Sherford near Plymouth or the East Anton MDA).

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Carlton Reid [144 posts] 7 years ago
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The planning PDF I just Google for is very good.

The infrastructure - in theory - is designed for pedestrians and cyclists and buses first.

This is the sort of thing argued for here in my segregation article (but such provision is rarely carried through in the UK): http://quickrelease.tv/?p=1351

From planning PDF:

To this end there are seven objectives which the New Community needs to address. These are:-

Objective 5a: To ensure that the New Community has effective and integrated public transport connections to Exeter, other towns of East Devon, leisure and recreational facilities in the locality, local employment sites and schools and colleges.

Objective 5b: To provide a high quality service to Exeter with a frequency of every 15 minutes at peak times. Bus stops to include real time passenger information systems.

Objective 5c: To bring forward the provision of a new railway station into the first phase of development of the New Community, with efficient links to Skypark and the airport.

Objective 5d: To connect the New Community with surrounding employment and recreation sites by pedestrian and cycle routes.

Objective 5e: To achieve a community in which residents can choose to live without owning a car.

Objective 5f: To make provision within the town for sustainable hierarchy of transport with public transport, walking and cycling being given priority over the motor car. To create pedestrian-friendly residential zones with safe routes to schools, shops, leisure facilities and open spaces.

4.8 Pedestrians: The mix of uses within the New Community should help to ensure a positive impact on the number of walking trips within it. The applicants have developed a network of footways and the whole development will benefit from a high standard of permeability for pedestrians into all the residential, education, commercial, retail and employment areas. The applicants have proposed that design measures to promote pedestrian movement safely through and around the highway network and to manage traffic speeds and vehicle conflict will be developed. The footway network will benefit from being highly visible so that personal safety does not become an issue. Where pedestrians might come into conflict with other road users, traffic calming (built into the design of the network) will be implemented to accord them effective priority. However the emphasis of the applicants’ approach is incorrect as it simply reinforces the traditional approach of ‘allowing’ people to interact with vehicles, whereas the reverse should be the case in this settlement. Hence a more appropriate approach would be to develop design measures that facilitate the movement of vehicles through the pedestrian movement network.

4.9 Cycles: Provision will be made for segregated cycle/pedestrian routes along the former A30, including signalised crossings. The principal cycle design lines through the New Community are likely to mirror closely the pedestrian routes. The street system should provide a permeable network of cycle routes from, and to, all parts of the New Community, following the main street, linking the residential, commercial, education, retail and employment areas. Physical infrastructure for cycles will be required such as cycle stands and this will be dealt with via the Section 106 Agreement and suggested conditions.

4.14 It is important that public transport is available to the first residents in order to establish a pattern of non private car travel from the outset. The Highway Authority has raised no objections to the proposed provision for pedestrians, cyclists or bus services.

4.22 The Local Routes: Within the New Community the highway network will be centred upon a main street between the two gateway junctions and connector roads to the former A30. The former A30 itself is proposed to be re-modelled as a street with the design of the street layout constraining vehicle speeds that are appropriate for a highway in or adjacent to a residential area.

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Kim [250 posts] 7 years ago
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Carlton Reid [144 posts] 7 years ago
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Blimey, Kim, it's repeated ad nausem in that piece.

Of course, I like segregated routes. When good, when no mandation to use.

I ride on segregated routes pretty much every day, but they're sporadic and it's essential we keep rights to the roads cos they go everywhere.

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Stofish [61 posts] 7 years ago
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Can a new build town really be described as low carbon?
Isn't building a town is almost by definition a high carbon project?

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Simon E [3154 posts] 7 years ago
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Stofish wrote:

Can a new build town really be described as low carbon?
Isn't building a town is almost by definition a high carbon project?

Would it be fairer to call it lower carbon?

Meaning that it is built with better materials and enabling lower impact lifestyles. The alternative would be a dormitory/greenbelt build using lots of concrete and with wide, fast roads to everywhere and naff all else.

If this new planning method works then it can be used as a template for the inevitable building that will take place elsewhere, whether on greenfield or brownfield sites.

@Kim what's your position on segregated infrastructure (perhaps with examples you're familiar with)? Or are you just having a cheap shot at Carlton Reid?

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Stofish [61 posts] 7 years ago
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Simon E wrote:

Would it be fairer to call it lower carbon?

It really dose depend on the alternative, while you imagine a suburbia from hell I prefer to dream of some of the lower populated parts of our inner cities being bought up to mid to high population levels.

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STATO [544 posts] 7 years ago
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Dont dismiss cycling lanes because just because they are not fast enough to blast along on a road bike, thats not there sole purpose.

I grew up in a town (Cramlington, Northumberland) packed with cycle lanes/paths that weave their way through estates and link the entire town so you almost never have to ride on the road. Its fantastic, they do so much more than just get you quickly from one place to another; Kids use them to walk or cycle to school, parents are happy to let kids visit friends on the other side of town as they know they will be safe, parents use them to take kids to the shops or library or pool, pensioners use them as a convenient and nicer way of getting about. Its major failing is the surrounding towns, they have no provision for cycling so on entering/exiting the town your on the road.

If 'cycle towns' are to work they need to be properly connected to the next town.