Work has already started near Marsh Barton
Further details have emerged around when major infrastructure improvements to ensure plans for a new development – bigger than Exminster – can be built. Devon County Council has won a £55 million funding injection from the government to help unlock infrastructure development around the south west of Exeter.
Around 2,500 homes, a primary and secondary school, and commercial properties are to be built on 90 hectares between Alphington Village and Exminster. Work began on accessing the site near the Matford roundabout in August. The infrastructure to be delivered includes:
Delivery of four signal junctions on the A379
Realignment of Chudleigh Road
Southern Spine Road
Employment access roundabout at Peamore
Devon Hotel Roundabout upgrade
Alphington Village enhancements
School access road
Pedestrian / cycle bridge
Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space
Utility upgrades including new primary electricity sub-station and foul drainage
Community building which is intended to include a GP surgery
Dave Black, Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment, told the meeting that in order to avoid further delay to the housing coming forward, the aim is to deliver infrastructure in line with developers’ timescales, and that work has been progressing on the design and delivery of infrastructure in advance of the funding contract being signed, recognising that the risk of not entering into contract was low.
THE PROPOSALS FOR THE FUNDING
Pedestrian / Cycle Bridge
A pedestrian / cycle bridge across the A379 is a key piece of infrastructure to support development at South West Exeter. It will provide a safe crossing of the A379 road and connects to the school and other community facilities.
Following planning approval, delivery of the bridge is proposed to be through a design and build contract in order to meet the necessary timescales to enable the bridge to be in place in line with the delivery of the new school. It is expected that the scheme will be onsite early in 2022.
Chudleigh Road realignment
The realignment of Chudleigh Road is required as the existing junction between Chudleigh Road and the A379 cannot be upgraded in its current location to accommodate the expected increase in traffic flows from the proposed development.
An application for the scheme was submitted in September and following planning permission it is proposed to go to tender. Assuming a successful tender and award of contract, it is expected that the scheme will be onsite, initially undertaking the necessary earthworks, towards the end of 2021.
One of the infrastructure items within the HIF bid is a new electricity substation. This is a significant new substation, which will connect into the existing overhead 132kV cable. Two potential sites for the substation have been identified informed by the need to locate the substation close to both the existing overhead cables and in close proximity to the development.
Locating it further from the development has the potential to cause disruption and add cost when future connections are required, and work is currently progressing on survey and modelling work to finalise the site selection, the meeting heard.
Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANGS)
This is a new, large public park which is being delivered to mitigate the impact that the development may otherwise have on the Exe Estuary. The SANGS needs to be delivered in line with the delivery of the development to ensure that there is appropriate mitigation in place. This is currently being progressed and work has commenced on site
The South West Exeter district heating network is a complex and ambitious scheme that would provide district heating to the South West Exeter development as well as the potential to connect to up to 9,000 future homes in the area. It also has the potential to connect to the Marsh Barton Energy from Waste facility, utilising waste heat.
To help fill the funding gap and increase the probability of the success of the scheme, it is proposed to allocate £5.3m recovered HIF funding to support the network.
Mr Black added: “The project will enable the earlier delivery of infrastructure as well as the coordination of this to minimise the impact of its delivery. Earlier delivery will help to support the creation of a community from the outset. It will also support housing delivery."