Ottery council worried about Cranbrook impact on town

CIVIC leaders are worried about the impact Cranbrook will have on Ottery’s sports facilities after it was revealed the new town will have very little of its own.

Town councillors agreed to write to Paul Diviani, the leader of East Devon District Council (EDDC), after concerns were raised at a meeting.

Councillor Claire Wright showed colleagues a letter from the chief executive of Leisure East Devon, Peter Gilpin, expressing concerns Cranbrook is severely lacking in sports facilities.

He said, with up to 5,000 new residents, there would likely be a knock-on effect at the Colin Tooze Sports Centre, as well as in at Broadclyst and Honiton.

Mr Gilpin said: “Access, parking and safeguarding are particular issues for the Ottery St Mary leisure centre, which is in desperate need of additional and improved parking.

“Consideration should be given as to how this may be addressed, particularly given the increased demand that the West End will create.”

He said current proposals for the new town near Exeter Airport show just one ‘multi-purpose building’ is planned for sports use, which could house a single badminton court.

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The LED head adds: “Having had a look at the plans I do not feel that the single badminton court show in the plan is at all adequate to meet the increased demands that Cranbrook will create, and there are already three sports halls within a 20 minute drive time that can cater for indoor sports.”

Cllr Wright said she had spoken to Luke Tyler, the manager of the Colin Tooze Sports Centre, who is also worried about Cranbrook’s impact.

Ottery Town Council hopes to provoke EDDC into action and provide alternative sports facilities at the new town.