Calls for Bickington bypass before more new homes are built

North Devon councillor Rodney Cann has called for a halt on further housing development in the Fremi

North Devon councillor Rodney Cann has called for a halt on further housing development in the Fremington area amid a mounting traffic crisis. Picture: Andy Keeble - Credit: Archant

Councillor says thousands of new homes will increase misery for local people but county council says bypass are not even at the design stage yet

A leading North Devon councillor has called for a moratorium on further development in the Fremington area until a Bickington bypass to the A39 is built.

Councillor Rodney Cann, member for Bickington and Roundswell, also said that major improvements to the Cedars junction should take place before work starts on more than 1,000 homes planned for the area.

“Traffic congestion in Bickington and Roundswell at peak times is making life a misery for local residents,” said Mr Cann.

“Attempts by motorists to avoid queues by rat running through estate roads and the Old Bideford Road are often making matters worse.

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“The situation is serious and will become critical once the current planning approvals for over 1,057 dwellings are built.

“These figures do not include the Larkbear development of around 850 dwellings.

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“Our roads will be at complete saturation point once these developments are competed unless major highways improvements take place.”

But Devon County Council said there was no estimated start date for the proposed A39/Bickington bypass and the scheme wasn’t even at the design stage.

A spokesperson for the council said the bypass was part of ‘long-term infrastructure proposals’ between now and 2031.

“Scheme delivery would be linked to development in the area and planning permission would be required to deliver the link in full,” he added.

County councillor for Fremington, Frank Beiderman echoed Mr Cann’s comments and said he had raised the issue at this month’s North Devon Highways and Traffic Orders (HATOC) committee.

He said: “It currently takes the kids an hour on the three-mile bus journey to school each day and hardly any of the 2,000 houses planned for this side of the river have been built yet.

“Please, please let’s get on with it; the money is in place for the Cedars roundabout at the very least.”

Developments already approved for the area are Tews Lane (350 houses); Fremington Army Camp (270); Allenstyle (70); West Yelland (135); Chilpark (14); Mead Park (61); Glenwood Farm (92); and North Lane (65).

Another 467 homes are in the pipeline at Glenwood Farm (73); Yelland power station (280); Mead Park (60); Oakland Park (25); and Instow (29).

Mr Cann added: “These are just some of the further development proposals in the pipeline in our area.

“No further applications should be approved until our local roads our capable of dealing with the increased traffic that this will generate.”

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