Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/20/11) seeking approval to proceed with submission of Final Business Case, Tender Award & Construction for the A361/A39 North Devon Link Road South Molton to Bideford, attached.
An Impact Assessment is also attached for the attention of Members at this meeting.
(Councillors Biederman, Connett, Dewhirst, Greenslade, Hannaford and Whitton) attended remotely in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/20/11) seeking approval to proceed with submission of a Final Business Case, Tender Award & Construction for the A361/A39 North Devon Link Road South Molton to Bideford,
the Report having been 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 outlined the work that had been undertaken since the approval of the Cabinet Report (PTE/19/20) on 15th May 2019 and also the need for final approval for the Scheme to progress through the final stage required by the Department for Transport (DfT) for Local Majors Funding – the Full Business Case (FBC).
The Council proposed to submit the Full Business Case in summer 2020 and, pending approval from the DfT, award contracts to the preferred contractor(s) to build the Scheme, which had been developed over a period of 6 years, with inception beginning in 2014. A Plan of the final scheme was shown in full at Appendix A of the Report.
The Full Business Case outlined the strategic, commercial, management, economic and financial and viability of the Scheme as detailed in The Scheme Plan and other documents outlined on The Scheme website at https://www.devon.gov.uk/ndlr/.
The Report outlined the detail for the award of the main works contract, the award of three minor works contracts (Buckleigh, Heywood Road & Westleigh), the award of Bishop’s Tawton contract and also the design for the pedestrian and cycle bridge at Landkey, shown at Appendix B.
They key dates included the submission of the Full Business Case by August 2020 with a decision and the appointment of contractor in Winter 2020. Advance works would commence in Winter 2020 with the main works in Spring/Summer 2021. Minor junction improvements would continue throughout with the Bishop’s Tawton Junction anticipated completion in 2022 and full scheme opening in 2023. The Cabinet Member for Infrastructure Development and Waste commented that advanced tree planting works had already taken place.
A number of consultations had been undertaken over the course of the project and the results of those consultations could be found on The Scheme website.
The total estimated Scheme cost was £93 million, largely funded by the Department for Transport. However, as was standard practice a local contribution was required. £5 million would be provided by the Council (from the capital programme), and the other £5 million covered by North Devon and Torridge District Councils via Section 106 Developer Contributions and also the Local Transport Plan grant (which was £1 million).
An Environmental Impact Assessment had been submitted for the Scheme as part of the planning application process, which received no statutory objections. The majority of environmental impacts were either minor or negligible including noise and air quality. It was also expected there was going to be a net improvement of around 10% in terms of biodiversity.
The Head of Service’s Report contained an Impact Assessment which had been made available for the attention of Members at this meeting and was also available at: https://devon.gov.uk/ndlr/project-documents and provided a summary of how impacts and issues relating to equality, environment and the economy had been appropriately and adequately addressed through the development of the Scheme proposals.
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 submission of the Full Business Case for the North Devon Link Road (“The Scheme”) to the Department for Transport be approved (subject to satisfactory acquisition of land) with any minor changes agreed by Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste;
(b) that power be delegated to the Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste, to award the following contracts, subject to them being within the overall budget of £93 million: the Main Works contract; the additional contracts for the construction of Westleigh, Buckleigh and Heywood Road using the minor works framework; and the tender and award of a contract to construct Bishop’s Tawton Roundabout widening and underpass;
(c) that the design (drawing P_08_ST_07) for a new pedestrian and cycling bridge at Landkey and the footprint required for land acquisition be approved with any minor changes being agreed by the Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste in consultation with Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste; and
(d) that the serving of notices, land entry and the construction of The Scheme, beginning at the earliest in October 2020 for mobilisation and advance works also be approved, with any minor changes being agreed by the Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste in consultation with Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste
[NB: The Impact Assessment referred to above may be viewed alongside Minutes of this meeting and may also be available at: https://devon.gov.uk/ndlr/project-documents].