• Leisure chief ‘amazed’ at lack of sports facilities at Cranbrook

    16th August 2012 | News | Claire
  • In a story published in today’s Express & Echo, Peter Gilpin, said he was ‘amazed’ at the ‘inadequacy’ of the plans for leisure facilities at the new town at which around 6,500 homes are expected to be built before 2026.

    He said he had been in discussions with the head teacher of the town’s new primary school, St Martin’s, opening next month, but stressed it would not be enough to cope with the town’s needs. 

    Mr Gilpin said: “Over the next few years Cranbrook will grow to around 6,400 houses with around 14,000 people.  The school is not a leisure centre and it’s not going to provide anything like what is needed.  The school and multi-purpose building will help meet some of the demand over the coming months while phase one of Cranbrook is developed, although the building is not designed as a specialist leisure centre and has a number of shortcomings in this respect.”

    He said that nearby leisure facilities at Honiton and Ottery St Mary were already at over capacity.

    Ottery St Mary sports centre’s car park, which is in my ward, experiences double and triple parking on a daily basis,  It is incomprehensible that the centre might be viewed as a back-up for a lack of facilities at Cranbrook.

    A spokesman for East Devon District Council was quoted in the article as saying that a planning application for new leisure facilities in the town centre was being prepared, which would be submitted towards the end of the year.

    However, the spokesman added that Cranbrook residents had the option of also using sports facilities at Ottery St Mary and Exeter. 

    I am concerned that EDDC appears to be encouraging future Cranbrook residents to travel to Ottery, given the car parking issues and Mr Gilpin’s statement about it being at over capacity..

    Photograph:  Cranbrook’s multi-purpose building, under construction.