Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment, (PTE/21/1) asking for final scheme approval for the construction of Marsh Barton Rail Station, attached.
An Impact Assessment is also attached for the attention of Members at this meeting and could also be found on the impact assessment website.
(Councillors Biederman, Connett, Dewhirst and Hannaford 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/21/1) on Marsh Barton Rail Station, 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 sought final Scheme approval for the construction of Marsh Barton Station, which formed part of the Devon Metro rail network. The Scheme would boost sustainable access to one of the region’s largest employment areas and deliver improved walking and cycling links to the Riverside Valley Park for leisure and onward commuting to RD&E, County Hall and the City Centre.
Whilst Cabinet had previously approved the plans for Marsh Barton (July 2015), since then several problems had been encountered, including significant changes to Network Rail design standards and specifications for numerous components of the scheme.
The proposal was to site the station immediately to the south of Clapperbrook Lane and adjacent to the Energy from Waste Plant. The station would be served by the existing local train service between Exmouth, Exeter, Newton Abbot and Torbay (including stops between those stations). The station layout was attached at Appendix 2 of the Report. The key changes from the previous proposal related to the ramps and access between the two platforms. The redesign included the ramps and a new bridge constructed parallel to Clapperbrook Lane and the Report outlined the benefit of this approach.
A business case had been submitted for the scheme in order to secure Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal funding which showed a ‘very high’ value for money category.
The Station had been supported through the Exeter City Council and Teignbridge District Council Local Plan consultation processes and had been formally consulted upon through the planning application process, with broad support for the proposals.
The Scheme was estimated to cost £16.0m and would be funded by a variety of sources as detailed in the table contained within the Report. £5m was expected to be spent by the 31st March 2021, with an estimated £9m profiled in 2021/22 and £2m in 2022/23. The funding package included the DfT New Stations Fund allocation and at the time of writing the Report, the DfT had not made a final decision on the allocation of the New Stations Fund.
An Impact Assessment had been attached for the attention of Members at the meeting and could be found on the impact assessment website. This showed no unmanageable impacts had been anticipated.
Work to construct the Station could have short-term negative consequences for residents living in the immediate vicinity, as noise could be generated, and the loss of some trees could impact the filtering of noise and odours from the industrial estate. However mitigating measures would be put in place.
The new Station and enhanced pedestrian / cycle bridge would support mode shift and deliver carbon savings through replacing medium length distance car journeys, particularly from the Teignbridge towns to Marsh Barton and would encourage increased local walking and cycling trips through improved quality and safety of cycle connections into the Riverside Valley / Exe Estuary multi-use trail.
The Cabinet noted that the Rail Station Scheme was an important infrastructure project that would boost sustainable travel choices. It delivered a safer pedestrian and cycle link across the railway to promote healthier, active lifestyles for short to medium distance journeys and the Scheme fitted well with the Council’s climate emergency commitment.
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) as 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 Marsh Barton Station scheme as shown in Appendix 2 of the Report for construction at an estimated cost of £16.0m be approved, subject to funding being in place; and
(b) 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 the scheme design.
(NB: The Impact Assessment referred to above may be viewed alongside Minutes of this meeting and may also be available on the Impact Assessment Webpages).