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New bar and sports facilities planned for Cranbrook

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 3:51pm

By Daniel Clark, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Original plans for the site have been declared inadequate

Cranbrook could be set to get a new bar and club room as part of facilities for the town’s sports hub – as the original plans for the site have been declared inadequate.

The sports hub at Cranbrook – known as Ingram’s field – has been up and running since May 2019, five years after it was initially conceived, and this summer finally saw football and cricket played in the new East Devon town.

The 2014 application for the site saw a design and layout for a changing room building also approved and five years later, the developers are finally in a position to deliver it.

However James Brown, Cranbrook New Community Manager, in a report to East Devon District Council’s cabinet, says that while it would meet the historic obligations, that design is not appropriate for today’s needs.

He instead is proposing that the cabinet back plans that would see a bigger building built that would consists of six changing rooms, rather than four, and would also include a family room and a bar and club room.

Mr Brown said: “Not only would such a facility address the needs of the sports clubs/teams which could operate at the hub but it would also provide a very valuable community meeting space which is something that Cranbrook is currently severely lacking. It also has the potential to provide a facility that has its own income stream from room lettings, bar receipts to enable its future maintenance.”

The original plans for the building fail to meet the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) requirements for changing room and pavilion requirements, are inadequate for football failing to meet current minimum standards, although they can be used for entry level leagues, and would continue to be an asset drain for Cranbrook Town Council having little or no income generating potential, the report says.

It adds: “As a result of the identified shortcomings, it places a significant burden on the Town Council were they to adopt the asset in its current form.

“The consortium of developers have been working constructively with the Cranbrook planning team to explore an alternative design and this work has now evidenced that a building measuring 32.2m x 16.4m would facilitate the delivery of up to six changing rooms, bar and club room, family room and spectator seating.”

The developers have said that they would invest only their original budget towards the newly enhanced pavilion and would not meet any additional costs, and have added that they are not prepared to undertake the design work and minor revisions to the building to bring it within budget.

Mr Brown’s report says that there is a pot of money, blending available Section 106 funds together with external funding, which can be secured for the building and while slightly short of the cost estimate provided by the Consortium of Developers for the enhanced provision, is of a sufficient size as to allow the delivery of a meaningful building which addresses most if not all of the aspirations of the Town Council.

The cabinet, when they met next Wednesday, are recommended to agree that East Devon District Council take control of plot of land at the Ingram’s sports hub in Cranbrook and procure and project manage the delivery of a sports pavilion at the sports hub, and once delivered, transfer of the completed sports pavilion to Cranbrook Town Council upon practical completion of the building.

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