Fresh bid for government funding for Cullompton relief road
A FRESH bid for government funding towards a new relief road in Cullompton is set to be approved by Mid Devon councillors.
The planned road to the east of the town will improve capacity at Junction 28 of the M5, help reduce traffic through the town centre and unlock the development of 2,000 homes nearby, including an initial 500 properties to form part of the Culm Garden village.
However, the district council remains short of around half of the road’s estimated £25 million cost after an initial bid to the government’s “levelling-up” fund was rejected in December.
Mid Devon District Council’s ruling cabinet will be asked to sign off a new bid for the fund’s second round when it meets tomorrow, Tuesday, June 28.
Originally set to cost £15 million, last year councillors were told the projected cost had ballooned to an estimated £25 million – blamed on increased costs from construction, replacing sporting facilities and the potential amount needed to buy land.
Planning permission has already been granted for both the road and a new home for Cullompton Cricket Club, which will need to relocate if the road is built.
Devon County Council supports the project and has pledged £1.5 million.
Liberal Democrat MP for Tiverton and Honiton Richard Foord said he was “very much supportive,” but questioned why the previous bid has been rejected, accusing the Tories of spending levelling-up money in the north of the country and neglecting Devon.
Mr Foord added: “We are going to see ever greater atmospheric pollution along Cullompton High Street if we continue to squeeze traffic through a very narrow area, which is heavily pedestrianised and where lots of people are having to breathe in the fumes of stagnant cars stuck in congestion.
“It’s for people’s health and wellbeing that we absolutely need to release Cullompton High Street of traffic and get it back to the picturesque market town that it used to be.”
Mid Devon’s cabinet will vote on the new bid and is likely to hear back from the government by the autumn.
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