Report of the Head of Planning Transportation and Environment (PTE/19/12) on the approval to preferred route and development/submission of planning application in relation to Cullompton Eastern Relief Road, attached.
An Impact Assessment is also attached for the attention of Members at this meeting.
(Councillors Squires, Way and Whitton 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/19/12) on the approval to preferred route and development/submission of planning application in relation to Cullompton Eastern Relief Road, 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 summarised that Cullompton Town Centre Relief Road was a scheme to reduce traffic flow in Cullompton High Street and facilitate the future development of the Town. It had been a long-term aspiration to deliver the scheme, but progress had been thwarted for environmental and economic reasons. However, Mid Devon District Council had the opportunity of funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and as a result, a consultation on options had been undertaken and the Report summarised the reasons for the preferred route and why the scheme should be taken forward to a planning application.
The Cullompton Town Centre Relief Road was included in the Council’s Transport Infrastructure Plan – Delivering Growth to 2030 and was required to relieve congestion in Cullompton High Street, improve air quality and a catalyst to the future economic growth of the High Street and proposed development, including the first phase of the Culm Garden Village.
Work with Mid Devon District Council had resulted in three options being taken to public consultation in 2018. Option A was through the middle of the Cullompton Community Association (CCA) fields, Option B was along the railway side of the CCA fields and Option C which crossed the M5 and railway and connected to Honiton Road. A fourth option was discounted due to being considered unacceptable by the Environment Agency. A plan of all four options was included at Appendix A of the Report and the outcome of the consultation included in the Report.
Option B was the favoured option of the local community and was put forward as the preferred option. This route was agreed by Mid Devon’s Cabinet on 31 January 2019.
The cost of developing the design and producing a planning application was likely to be £250,000 and would be funded by Mid Devon District Council. Mid Devon also had a Housing Infrastructure Fund bid (HIF) for the cost of the scheme currently being considered.
The Cabinet noted that the environment through which the road would be constructed was sensitive and used as recreational green space and some ecological surveys and flood modelling had been undertaken, although it was probable that further work would have to be carried out together with a detailed assessment of the impact of the scheme on the CCA fields. A full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) including flood risk would be carried out to support the planning application and used to identify appropriate mitigation and compensation.
The Head of Service’s Report contained an Impact Assessment for the attention of Members at the meeting. It highlighted that the carriageway widening scheme was not expected to disadvantage any particular group of people with protected characteristics. The scheme would have a designated pedestrian / cycle part parallel to the road benefitting all non-motorised users. This should encourage physical activity, sustainable travel, improve air quality issues within the town centre and make the area safer and more pedestrian friendly.
The Head of Service further added that the scheme had been long planned, but also that it was a sensitive scheme that needed mitigation, flood plans, environmental impact assessments and also further consultation, so there was much still to do.
Councillor Squires spoke on behalf of the Local Member, supporting the additional recommendation (e) put forward by the Cabinet Member for Infrastructure Development and Waste.
The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability (including 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 preferred route for the relief road be approved;
(b) that the development and submission of a planning application for the relief road be agreed;
(c) that delegated authority be given to the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste, to make minor amendments to this scheme;
(d) that an increase to the Planning, Transportation and Environment 2019/20 capital programme of £250,000, funded by external contributions be approved; and
(e) that a further consultation, as requested by Mid Devon District Council, be approved, which could include a review of connections to the existing road network.
[NB: The Impact Assessment referred to above may be viewed alongside Minutes of this meeting and may also be available at: http://new.devon.gov.uk/impact/].