£10 million of government money will help to deliver Axminster relief road and associated development

East Devon District Council has welcomed the government’s announcement (made today) that it will give £10 million of government money to help the delivery of the Axminster North/South Relief Road. 

The announcement follows a bid made by East Devon District Council for funding through the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF), which was established last year to help fund infrastructure required to unlock housing sites across the country that are currently not being delivered because of lack of funding for infrastructure.  

The money will be used to help fund the delivery of the road, which is currently estimated to cost £16.7 million. The remainder of the cost will be covered from the development allocated in the Local Plan adjacent to the road, which comprises around 650 homes, eight hectares of employment land, including a primary school, and a range of social, community and open space facilities to support the development. The proposed development would not have been able to deliver the relief road without this investment.   

East Devon is planning to work alongside the main land owners and developers of the site to develop a masterplan for its development in consultation with the community over the coming year. The masterplan will then provide a template for how the site will be developed in a co-ordinated way and the road delivered. It is hoped that work on the road could start as early as 2020. 

At £10 million, the bid is one of the largest of the 133 successful bids announced nationally today. It is understood that the fund was massively oversubscribed and received bids totalling almost £2 billion. The success of the bid shows a real vote of confidence in Axminster and the ability of East Devon to deliver new homes. The council understands that the funding team welcomed the plans for growth set out in the bid and were pleased that the funding would help to provide the infrastructure needed by the community to drive increased housing delivery. 

Cllr Andrew Moulding, East Devon District Council Chairman and Axminster Town ward member, said: 

I wholeheartedly welcome this news. It is great to see the government supporting ambitious communities like Axminster that welcome growth and development. This is also great news for East Devon as a whole as it will help us to deliver a key strategic site in our Local Plan and help us to meet our targets for the delivery of homes and jobs across the district. This is money well spent.

 Cllr Ian Hall, ward member for Axminster Rural, said:

This is excellent news for Axminster. Delivery of the relief road will unlock so many opportunities for Axminster. As well as addressing traffic and air quality issues in the town centre making it an even more attractive place it will encourage further investment and businesses to the town. This investment will help to deliver a whole new neighbourhood on the east of the town providing new homes, jobs and community facilities that will benefit everyone in Axminster and secure a bright future for the town. 

The District Council will be working with Devon County Council to develop the projects.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for highway infrastructure, said:

This is really great news.  Overall, Devon has secured a record £44.7 million for housing-related infrastructure, which is proportionally higher by population than other counties.  That’s testament to the hard work and collaboration of our District Councils.  The funding will help unlock housing development sites by providing the necessary road links, highways improvements, and a school.

More information about the fund is available online.