Desperately-needed homes for hundreds of families, new jobs, and a 100-acre country park are now on the horizon in the north of the city, thanks to a massive funding promise from the Heart of the South West Local Economic Partnership.
The partnership has this week announced it has earmarked £22.5 million of the Growth Fund for the Forder Valley link road project, which is designed to open up the north of the city.
Council leader Tudor Evans said: “This is the single biggest commitment of cash to come to the city and we are really grateful that the Local Economic Partnership appreciates how important it is to the city’s growth.
“I understand the Heart of the South West managed to secure the largest Growth Deal nationally – which is brilliant news – and this is the largest single project of the deal.
“I’d like to thank the LEP for helping us make this happen. We have been making a very strong case that this project has the potential to deliver so much for businesses and families.
“It will lead to unlocking the delivery of thousands of jobs and nearly 3,000 homes in the new Seaton neighbourhood, with a new school and new work places, as well as a community park – with a farm – in the city.
“We have been looking to do this for a long time and are really excited that the LEP has thrown its weight behind something that is going to have fantastic economic and lifestyle spin-offs for everyone in Plymouth, as well as businesses hoping to come here.”
The link road will also provide better access from the east, including the new community in Sherford. It will run from the junction of Forder Valley Road and Novorossiysk Road through to Brest Road, creating an alternative route between the A38 and Derriford and providing vital extra capacity on the highway network.
It will also reduce pressure from the amount of traffic on Manadon roundabout and complement other planned transport improvements for Derriford.
Once complete, it will create a faster connection to Derriford Hospital, which is one of only 16 critical care hospitals in the country and the only one west of Bristol.
Proposals include a new 1km road with three lanes – two for general traffic and one for buses – as well as a segregated footway and cycleway
Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “This is one of the biggest transport schemes we’ve planned. Not only is it unlocking land for homes and jobs, it will create a better, more convenient route to Derriford from the east, cut congestion and keep traffic moving as our city grows.”
The scheme is estimated to cost just over £35 million and the project has been identified as the second highest priority transport scheme in the HotSW programme and is fully supported by the Highways Agency.
Funding is subject to the approval of a business case, expected to be submitted to the LEP’s Local Transport Board in July. Specific allocations are yet to be confirmed.
If the plans are approved construction is expected to begin in the 2017/18 financial year and take around 18 months.