Initial desk-based studies have been completed and environmental risks and constraints to the scheme have been identified. Further environmental assessment is being undertaken to inform route option development, including data collation and walkover surveys.
To help in defining an environmentally acceptable approach to the scheme, vital links are being forged between Devon County Council, the Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership, Natural England and other key stakeholders. Initial contact has also been made with landowners to obtain land access permissions for survey work, discuss scheme concepts and road safety, obtain information about the area and answer any queries or concerns.
Progress to date
- Procurement of environmental sub-consultants
Environmental work, including scoping the environmental impacts and undertaking environmental surveys to inform the design process, is being progressed.
- Land access permissions
Devon County Council has engaged with landowners in the study area to gain access for environmental studies, answer any concerns or queries and to build positive relationships.
- Key stakeholders engaged
Devon County Council is developing a broad consultation strategy to take into account strategic, economic and environmental impacts. A number of bodies will be engaged as key stakeholder throughout the process to build their understanding of the scheme objectives and confidence that their concerns will be recorded and considered as part of the scheme development process.
Geotechnical studies and topographical surveys are being undertaken to inform the design process
- Traffic Modelling undertaken
Initial traffic counts and road side surveys have taken place and this evidence will be used to assist Devon County Council in producing a traffic model for the route.
- Design team meeting
The first design team meeting has taken place in which the initial environmental constraints where put forward and discussed by the Environmental leads.
Plans moving forward
- Stakeholder Liaison
Consultation is about to start with key stakeholders on the environmental scoping report. There will also be liaison with a wider set of stakeholders and consultees to understand their concerns and issues at this stage of the process, including their views on the scheme objectives.
- Data collation and surveys
Once all environmental data is collected by the sub consultants, it will be collated as a GIS master map that will allow the design team to view overall constraints, so assisting them in refining scheme options.
- Production of a new website for the scheme
A new website has been developed that will be kept up to date to ensure that all stakeholders, consultees and the general public are kept informed.
- Route option development
A ‘Value Management Workshop’ will be held to understand the implications of potential options and to agree what options should be taken forward for further assessment.