Axminster bypass £6.7 million loan plan is backed

A north-south bypass will reduce Axminster’s town centre congestion problems say campaigners. Pictur

A north-south bypass will reduce Axminster’s town centre congestion problems say campaigners. Picture: ALEX WALTON - Credit: Archant

East Devon Council Cabinet approves funding scheme to fast track town’s much needed inner relief road

Plans to borrow almost £7 million to fast track a start on Axminster’s long-awaited north-south relief road have been given the green light.

A funding scheme to enable the £17million bypass to be built ahead of a massive housing development to the east of the town was unanimoulsy approved by East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Cabinet last week.

EDDC intends to jointly commission the road with Devon County Council and deliver it before the homes are built, many years sooner than origianlly planned.

They will use £10million of Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) money secured by the council earlier this year, and borrow £6.7m to cover the shortfall.

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The loan would ultimately be repaid by developers from the sale of some 650 houses planned for the site.

Cabinet members agreed this was the best way forward for the relief road and the town.

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There was some discussion around residents’ concerns over problems with Weycroft Bridge to the north of the town and the junction with the A35 to the south.

Axminster county and district councillor Ian Hall said these junctions were being looked at with the relevant agencies to see what could be done, but that this should not hold up progress on the bypass.

Cabinet’s decision sets out principles for delivering the road, ensuring that it is in place in its entirety early in the development of the site, thereby minimising the impact and disruption within the town as the site is built out - something that is likely to take many years.

The principles for the delivery of the road will be worked up into a detailed proposal and reported back to council members for them to consider at a future meeting.

Cllr Hall said: “I am delighted that cabinet agreed to take such a proactive and positive role and invest in the delivery of the Axminster relief road. The road is vital to the future of the town and the fact that the council is willing to borrow nearly £7 million is a massive vote of confidence in Axminster and its community.”

To read the report in full, visit the East Devon website.

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