To receive a report of the Director of Place informing Members about the second round of the Levelling Up Fund and seeking Members endorsement of resubmitting a bid for the Cullompton Town Centre Relief Road (including associated pedestrian and cycling improvements to the proposed new station site). The bid being updated to include key information and addressing issues raised through bid evaluation.
The Cabinet had before it a *report of the Director of Place informing Members about the second round of the Levelling Up Fund and seeking Members endorsement of resubmitting a bid for the Cullompton Town Centre Relief Road (including associated pedestrian and cycling improvements to the proposed new station site). The bid being updated to include key information and addressing issues raised through bid evaluation.
The Director of Place outlined the contents of the report stating that favourable feedback from Government had been received following the previous bid. He explained that the submission of the Cullompton Town Centre Relief Road to the LUF2 bidding round was considered necessary as it needed to be delivered as soon as possible because:
· Its delivery would unlock environmental and air quality improvements within Cullompton town centre, building on other key initiatives such as the Cullompton railway station and the Heritage Action Zone;
· The scheme provided key infrastructure to unlock the forecasted strategic growth within Cullompton, including the Culm Garden Village.
· The scheme would unlock early capacity at J28 M5 in advance of more significant junction intervention, allowing for planned growth within the adopted Local Plan to come forward. This planned growth was considered vital to sustain the pipeline of housing delivery in order to meet future Housing Delivery Test requirements and as such was critical to the delivery of the adopted Local Plan.
· Historic England had made it clear that the award of the Heritage Action Zone monies in Cullompton was predicated by a clear expectation of its delivery.
The Relief Road scheme was still considered to be a prime candidate scheme for submission given:
· It addressed existing town centre issues which would support the levelling up of Cullompton, to the benefit of existing residents and businesses;
· It would support the unlocking of significant amounts of future growth in and around Cullompton;
· It was well placed for delivery within the required timescale, already benefitting from planning permission and being at an advanced stage of scheme development, and;
· Given the favourable feedback received with regard to the last submission.
He referred to the funding already in place and the support of Devon County Council in the project.
Consideration was given to:
· Questions relating to the short time frame to submit the bid and whether the work had commenced prior to a decision of the Cabinet; the LUF Funding required support of the MP and had that been acquired from the newly elected MP; the estimated costs for delivery and at what point did the balance tip from this scheme being value for money to being unviable and if the bid failed what other options were available. Reference was also made to the conditions of the £10m HIF award already received.
· A bid being put forward by East Devon District Council for the Axminster area and the fact that the MP could only support one project
RESOLVED that it be agreed to submit a bid to the second round of the Levelling Up ... view the full minutes text for item 15