Construction of the long-awaited £6.2million Dawlish link road and bridge will start later this month and is expected to be completed by summer 2024.
Following a competitive tender, Montel Civil Engineering has been appointed to undertake the work and all contracts necessary for the project to progress have now been signed with landowners and developers.
The new link road and an associated bridge over Shutterton Brook is part of a scheme for 860 homes near Secmaton Lane contained in Teignbridge District Council’s current local plan and is a key step in achieving the goal of linking the new homes directly to the A379 Exeter Road.
When complete, construction traffic and traffic from the new homes will head out of Dawlish northwards towards Exeter, rather than going along Elm Grove Road and past two schools.
The link road, which is supported by local people, will provide a bus route, cycling lanes and footpaths, boosting more sustainable transport options.
Local residents can visit the scheme webpage to keep track of the project’s progress.
In line with both Devon and Teignbridge’s commitment to tackling climate change, planning permission for the link road and bridge requires a range of environmental steps to be taken as part of an environmental management plan which has had input from Natural England and the Environment Agency.
Provision has been made in the plans to safeguard bats, dormice, nesting birds, otters and water voles while reusing construction material. Construction itself will, for example, deploy locally sourced materials, reuse materials where possible and will use compacted earth embankments to minimise concrete usage.
Since government funding for the project was first agreed in 2019, planning permission has been granted for homes on either side of the Shutterton Brook and for the proposed bridge.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said:
“This is a key link to provide access to new homes so it’s encouraging that work is getting underway to develop the bridge and a vital section of the road.
“A huge amount of environmental work is being incorporated into the project to ensure that habitats for local wildlife are enhanced, and the construction work will be carried out off of the existing road network which will ensure there is no significant disruption to the local community.
“Once this main section of road and the bridge have been built as part of this scheme, the developer funded section of link road running through Gatehouse Farm to Elm Grove Road is expected to be completed afterwards.”
Teignbridge Council Leader Councillor Martin Wrigley said: “Dawlish residents have been calling for this link road for seven years, and I am delighted that we now have a start date for this vital project. To build the link road and bridge has required agreements to be reached with various landowners and the cooperation of developers and I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to get the project to this stage.”
Andy McAdam, Regional Director at Montel Civil Engineering, said: “Montel Civil Engineering are a collaborative; experienced and successful privately owned Civil Engineering Company, who deliver complex Civil Engineering projects up to £20 million, within both the Public and Private sectors, and we are very pleased to be working with Devon County Council to deliver this key project for both the Council and the Dawlish residents.”
Persimmon South West Managing Director Dan Heathcote said: “We are proud to work with our partners at Devon County Council and Teignbridge District Council to deliver this essential infrastructure for the local community in Dawlish. As we deliver 190 much-needed homes in the area for local people, the proposed link road will provide a bus route, cycling lanes and footpaths, boosting more sustainable transport options and is great news for residents. From day one on site, delivering key infrastructure has been a top priority for Persimmon. As part of our Phase One development, we’ve already built a section of the link road, and with only a few properties remaining, this has proven a very popular scheme.”