Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/17/56), on the Strategy for North Devon Link Road (A361/A39), attached.
An impact assessment is also atatched.
(Councillor Greenslade declared a personal interest in this matter, by virtue of being a Member of North Devon District Council)
(Councillors Edgell, Greenslade and Yabsley 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/17/56), on the Strategy for North Devon Link Road (A361/A39).
Cabinet noted the report now presented followed the previous Cabinet report dated October 2016 regarding the A361/A39 North Devon Link Road (NDLR) project and since then there had been further design, a public consultation in June/July 2017 and an analysis of the consultation comments and suggestions.
As a result, a long term strategy for the road had evolved and from this strategy, “The Scheme” had been derived, which would form the first phase of improvement works and would be included in an Outline Business Case (OBC) for submission to the Department for Transport (DfT) as a “Local Majors Bid”. The report outlined the three stage process for securing DfT funding, which involved a Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) (previously submitted in October 2016), and Outline Business Case (OBC) which needed submission by the end of 2017 and finally, if DfT approved the OBC, the scheme would move through planning, land acquisition and works tender to the production of the Full Business Case.
The report outlined the Strategy for the North Devon Link Road, including South Molton to Bideford which included improvements to eight junctions (Borner’s Bridge, Hacche Lane, West Buckland, Landkey, Bishop’s Tawton, Westleigh, Heywood Road, Buckleigh Road) and improvements to links with sections of additional overtaking lanes, widening and other such measures. The Head of Service was recommending this strategy be accepted for the improvement of the North Devon Link Road between South Molton and Bideford.
Work had also been undertaken on the M5 Junction 27 to South Molton, including options for improving the section of the NDLR between M5 Junction 27 and Tiverton, to increase the capacity of Bolham junction and improve access to Tiverton Parkway, although further work was required on these preliminary schemes including discussion with statutory bodies and public consultation, which was anticipated in 2018.
The drawings of the proposals were appended to the report and were also on display at the meeting.
The proposals presented at the June – July 2017 public consultation, including the summary leaflet, were available on the Councils’ website at https://new.devon.gov.uk/ndlr/project-progress/consultation, were summarised in the report and also circulated at the meeting.
The Head of Service now commended to Cabinet the proposals set out in full at Report PTE/17/56, including relevant drawings as appendices to the report and costings outlined at page 12 of the report.
The Head of Service’s Report referred to the Impact Assessment in relation to the proposals outlined in the report and outlined the social / equality / environmental and economic impacts including some impact on agricultural land and the potential devaluation of property in the vicinity balanced again the proposed improvements for businesses from improved access and improved journey times for business activities. Whilst the scheme could affect a number of footpaths that crossed the A361/A39 (which would be considered during the design stage), there would be improved safety through the removal of right turns, improved alignment and overtaking opportunities.
The Cabinet noted that a comprehensive assessment of the anticipated environmental effects of the scheme was provided through an Environmental Assessment Report, available on the scheme website: https://new.devon.gov.uk/ndlr/project-documents, which highlighted the largest adverse impact would be during construction. It was not anticipated there would be any significant changes in local air quality. The Impact Assessment further outlined the impacts Castle Hill Registered Park and Garden and the proposed mitigation as well as on the landscape, noise levels, water quality and flood risk as well as the profile and views of stakeholders and people directly affected and how the impacts and actions would be monitored.
A range of mitigation principles and strategies would be used to reduce negative effects on the environment and to compensate for any unavoidable impacts. All impacts would be assessed further through the Environmental Impact Assessment process.
The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, environmental impacts, 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) the conclusions from the North Devon Link Road 2017 public consultation be noted;
(b) the Strategy for the improvement of the North Devon Link Road between South Molton and Bideford be agreed;
(c) an Outline Business Case be submitted to the Department for Transport for “The Scheme” which would form the first phase of the strategy;
(d) the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste and the relevant local member(s), be given delegated powers to make minor amendments to the proposed works, shown in Appendices II and III; and
(e) the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment’s intended application of the National Planning Policy Framework document in relation to determining planning applications that impact on the North Devon Link Road at paragraph 3.2.8 and 6.15 be noted.