A North Devon councillor is calling for major improvements to make the road between Barnstaple and Landkey safe for cyclists and pedestrians.

The road between Barnstaple and Landkey has no safe areas for walkers or cyclists. Picture: Tony GussinThe road between Barnstaple and Landkey has no safe areas for walkers or cyclists. Picture: Tony Gussin

Landkey district councillor David Luggar is keen to ensure the major developments at Venn quarry and Mount Sandford Green will also lead to far better provision for cyclists and walkers.

Mr Luggar said trying to walk on the fast 40mph stretch of road from Newport to Landkey was currently ‘an absolute nightmare’.

He said the developer for the £3.9m Birchwood Lakes holiday village had now signed the ‘section 106’ agreement for contribution towards local services and infrastructure.

He added: “I have made sure that within that there’s a provision for £126,000 to improve the stretch of road from Cradleman’s Corner to the Mount Sandford Green site.

A graphic overview of the Birchwood Lakes 'eco tourism' complex.A graphic overview of the Birchwood Lakes 'eco tourism' complex.

“This is being done in conjunction with the highways authority and I would hope that they come up with sensible options for delivering pedestrian and cycle routes alongside ensuring life does not become difficult for motorists.”

Planning permission has been granted for the 158-unit holiday village with 40-bedroom hotel and it is hoped the first units will be open by 2020.

There is also permission for 170 houses a little further along the road at the Mount Sandford Green site.

Mr Luggar said with this influx of new residents and holidaymakers there needed to be far better connectivity between Landkey and Barnstaple and said he would like to see a ‘green way’ connecting the two communities.

He added: “It’s going to be very much a growth area. We are going to have more people coming to North Devon and hopefully benefitting it by spending locally.”

Birchwood Lakes developer Habitat First Group has the 63-hectare former Venn Quarry will ‘be restored into a sustainable eco-tourism development’ and it would ‘harmonise’ with the natural environment and protect the wildlife on the site.

Red Paxton, director of Habitat First Group, said: “I am delighted that Habitat First Group is able to support the Council’s aim to improve the walking and cycling route between Landkey and Barnstaple. As part of our planning permission for nature-based holiday accommodation at Venn Quarry, Habitat First Group has committed £126,000 to provide a footpath and cycleway along Landkey Road between Cradleman’s Cross and Mount Sandford Green.

“This is part of a wider package of improvements to community and transport infrastructure to be funded by Habitat First Group once development commences later this year.”