Agenda item

Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/18/23) seeking approval to go to planning, tender and acquire land through negotiation/CPO in relation to A361/A39 North Devon Link Road:  South Molton to Bideford, attached.


An Impact Assessment is also attached.


(Councillors Biederman, Connett and Hannaford attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).


The Cabinet considered the Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/18/23) seeking approval of various matters in relation to the A361/A39 North Devon Link Road:  South Molton to Bideford, circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.


The Report followed the Cabinet paper dated October 2017 regarding the A361/A39 North Devon Link Road (NDLR) project, reporting on the outcome of the Outline Business Case (OBC) submission and progress made to delivering the Scheme. The Report sought approval to proceed with a planning application, land acquisition, tender and preparation of a Full Business Case to the Department for Transport (DfT).


Previous reports had documented scheme progress up to the submission of the OBC. The Cabinet noted that background detail on the project prior to the OBC submission could be found on the scheme website at:


The scheme to improve the North Devon Link Road (NDLR) was summarised in Table 1 and comprised 7.5km of widening (between Portmore Roundabout to Landkey Junction, Landkey Junction to Swimbridge and Swimbridge to Filleigh Cutting) and to upgrade the performance of the NDLR between South Molton and Barnstaple (16km) and various junction improvements (Buckleigh Road, Heywood Road, Westleigh, Bishop’s Tawton, Landkey, West Buckland, Hacche Lane and Borner’s Bridge) and to support sites identified for housing and employment opportunities in South Molton, Barnstaple and Bideford.


The Report also outlined the current position in respect of planning and the outcome of the

Pre-Application Screening Request which meant a planning application for Portmore Roundabout to Filleigh Cutting would be submitted in October 2018 and improvements to the remaining six junctions would be under permitted development.


Cabinet noted that private land would be required for the scheme and all identified landowners had been contacted and / or visited. It was intended that, where possible, land would be acquired through negotiation. However, the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) process would run in parallel with negotiations.


The tender documents would comprise two packages: the road widening works and the junctions. The tender process would begin in late 2018 and run through to mid 2020 ready for the submission of the Full Business Case. This would allow construction to start in late 2020. Construction would be phased over a 3 year period with works grouped and phased to minimise disruption.


Three public consultations were undertaken prior to the submission of the OBC, all of which showed considerable support for a scheme, the results of which were summarised in Section 3 of the 2017 Cabinet Report.


The NDLR scheme had been allocated £83.1m from the DfT Local Majors Fund which was subject to a final decision by the DfT in 2020.  The grant award was capital in nature, and any revenue costs would need to be met from existing resources. The total funding of £93.115m was being met from the DfT Local Majors Fund of £83.115m, the County Council £5m and Developer Funding Contributions of £5m.


Environmental impact considerations at the submission of the OBC were set out in Section 7 of the 2017 Cabinet report. A full Environmental Impact Assessment would be produced prior to the submission of a planning application in Autumn 2018.


An additional supplementary Report was circulated giving updated information in relation to the spending profile following a meeting with the DfT on 2 July 2018.


In progressing this particular scheme, the Head of Service had prepared an updated Impact Assessment, which had been circulated to Cabinet Members for their attention at this meeting and was available at  and at


The Cabinet noted the social impacts on commuters, journey times, safety, the impacts on agricultural land and properties. An assessment of the anticipated environmental impacts had been considered in the Environmental Assessment Report and the Economic Case Chapter in the Outlined Business Case at However, this considered issues such as noise, air quality, greenhouse gases, landscape, cultural heritage, townscape, biodiversity, water / flood risk, ground water, geology and soils etc. The mitigation strategies and principles were outlined in full in chapter 13 of the Environmental Assessment Report.


The Report outlined the risk and mitigation measures, assuring the Cabinet that the proposal had been assessed and all necessary safeguards taken/included. Risk costs had been included in the scheme estimate.


The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability, carbon impact, risk management, equality and legal considerations and Public Health impact) set out in the Head of Service’s Report and/or referred to above having been considered:


It was MOVED by Councillor Davis, SECONDED by Councillor Hart, and




(a) that the preliminary scheme layout shown on the scheme plans (attached to the Report in Appendix I) be approved and that delegated power be given to the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste and relevant local Member(s), to make minor amendments to the scheme details and to progress towards a Full Business Case;


(b) that the Scheme be progressed through the required Statutory Consents and Approval Processes, including a Planning Application and environmental permit;


(c) that the commencement of the acquisition of land through negotiation and/or a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) be approved; and


(d) that the Scheme proceeds to tender and preparation of a Full Business case to submit to the Department for Transport.

Supporting documents: