Councillors will be asked to approve £2.85m proposals for new footbridge

Councillor Frank Biederman says he broadly supports the scheme, but has concerns about the costCouncillor Frank Biederman says he broadly supports the scheme, but has concerns about the cost

Plans for a new footbridge across the North Devon Link Road at Roundswell look set to be approved by councillors on Wednesday.

Devon County Council’s cabinet meeting will be recommended to give the go ahead for the £2.85million cycle and pedestrian bridge.

It says the bridge is needed to support the expansion of Roundswell, which includes development of employment land both sides of the A361.

There are also plans for a ‘park and change’ facility at Roundswell as well as proposals from North Devon Council for an ‘innovation centre’ offering business support at the heart of the extended business park.

Funding for the bridge will include £2m from the Government’s Growth Deal scheme, with the rest from various sources including developer contributions.

Fremington Rural County Councillor Frank Biederman will be addressing the committee on Wednesday and said while he broadly supports the scheme, he still has some concerns.

He wants to know whether there are commitments from business and local bus companies to support the proposed expansion plans.

“It is an incredibly expensive scheme if the estimated cost is near true, if it ends up being a bridge to nowhere,” he said.

“I congratulate council on securing the funding through the growth fund deal and developer contributions. But in the public eye, this is still public money and they are rightly concerned in these hard times.

“Please do not take my comments as negative, as I believe this scheme, alongside of the wider plan for the Cedars junction and potential Bickington link that I have continually lobbied for, could solve some of our current problems and mitigate the incredible amount of housing coming forward on the south side of the Taw estuary.”

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