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Officer Decisions

Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment - Dave Black

Summary of Matter or Issue Requiring Decision:

Approval for North Devon Link Road improvement strategy to go to consultation.

Decision Taken:

Approved to go to consultation.



Summary of Reason(s) for Decision Taken:

There has been continued concern that the operation and impact of the A361/A39/NDL connection to Northern Devon has a detrimental impact on the local economy compared to other areas of the country that are better connected. This relates to the relativity slow vehicle speeds, lack of overtaking, resilience in times of maintenance, congestion during peak times and the perception of the route as a gateway to the area. A consultation was undertaken in 2014 on a potential improvement plan.

As a result of the consultation and pressure from elected members in 2015, Devon County Council secured funding from the Department for Transport to produce a Business Case for improvements to the North Devon Link Road. Following this announcement, work has been undertaken by Devon County Council to identify scheme objectives and generate options.

Before the scheme can progress, the County Council needs to consult strategically with key stakeholders and the public on the high level options being considered to ensure there is a consensus of opinion. The issues requiring consultation are the problems and objectives, plus:

  1. The type of intervention; whether it should be public transport, road based or a combination of the two;
  2. The standard and scale of the intervention; and
  3. If a road based option is chosen, the section(s) of road that should be prioritised.

The consultation will commence on 27th June and last for 5 weeks. It is necessary to limit the consultation period due to the need to meet the DfT criteria for submission of a Preferred Scheme.

Summary of Alternatives or Options considered and rejected:

The Council could decide not to go to Consultation and instead make a decision on the Strategy through current democratic processes. Doing this would not give some stakeholders and members of the public chance for proper scrutiny and transparency so this has been rejected.

The Department for Transport document ‘Transport Analysis Guidance’ (TAG) requires that consultation be undertaken following the initial option sift. As the scheme will be submitted in accordance with DfT guidelines a decision has been made to go to public consultation.


Details of any conflict of interest and dispensation granted to the Officer taking the decision or by any Member of the Council in delegating responsibility for any specific express delegation:

None known to the head of Planning, Transportation and Environment.

Contact for enquiries/further information:
Dave Black - Email:
Decision Date:
6 June 2016

A copy of this decision and any supporting documentation considered by the Officer taking this decision may also be made available or inspection by the public at the Council’s Offices or posted upon payment of any copying and postage charges. Any member of the public wishing to take up either of these options is asked to please ring 01392 382888 or email: