Science Park approval gives County Council go ahead for key links

DEVON County Council is set to push on with vital road and infrastructure developments to Exeter Science Park after welcoming outline planning consent was finalised for the site.

DEVON County Council is set to push on with vital road and infrastructure developments to Exeter Science Park after welcoming outline planning consent was finalised for the site.

Planning agreements for the application were completed last week (11 March) which will enable the County Council to start work on �18 million of infrastructure work at Junction 29, which were recently approved by the Council's Cabinet. This includes a number of improvements at Junction 29 of the M5 including a new traffic signal junction with the A30, additional lanes on the north and southbound offslips, and bus lanes on the A30 to the motorway junction.

Another �5.5 million is being invested by the County Council on major new transport links between Exeter and the Exeter and East Devon New Growth Point, which includes a highway network for the Science Park and a landmark pedestrian and cycle bridge over the M5 to connect to the Exeter Cycle Network.

The outline planning application for the Exeter Science Park was submitted by Devon County Council last July on behalf of the Science Park Partnership. The other partners are East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council, The Met Office, South West RDA and the University of Exeter.

Although the outline plans were given the go ahead in November, the approval was subject to 106 agreements which have now been completed.

Councillor William Mumford, Devon County Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, said: "We're delighted to have achieved outline planning consent and this will provide the launchpad to achieving what will be a vital development for the future economy of our county. This is a major step forward in creating the links to the site that will make this development a reality. We're determined for Devon to emerge stronger from the recession and the Science Park is key to that and central to the success of the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point."

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Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "We are investing heavily in developing and improving the highway infrastructure in and around the city to support the economic growth of Exeter and the county as a whole. The Cabinet recently approved a series of schemes that will provide a range of transport alternatives for people travelling in and out of the city and we can now press on with the job in hand of delivering them for the benefit of residents in the county."

Devon County Council's deputy leader John Clatworthy, who is a board member of the new Science Park Company, said: "The Council welcomes this important decision because we can now start in earnest on laying the key foundations to the Exeter Science Park. We have shown our commitment to this project by investing in the company set up to run the Science Park so that we can play a leading role in helping create jobs for the county. As this development starts come to fruition I've no doubt this will prove to be a prudent investment."

The Science Park offers the potential to create up to 3,700 jobs in the first 15-20 years. A full planning application is expected to be submitted at the end of this month.

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