The ‘nightmare on Elm Grove Road’ will be over under plans for a new link road in Dawlish.

Teignbridge District Council on Tuesday morning agreed to put a £4.9m grant from Homes England towards development costs of a new link road in Dawlish.

A mixed use development that includes at least 860 homes is included in the Local Plan for the area around Secmaton Lane, which also includes provision for a link road through the site. The road will address highway capacity concerns, enable a through bus route and help to mitigate traffic impacts on Elm Grove Road and the surrounding area.

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A £4.9m bid as part of Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund was successful and that funding will deliver the route, including a new bridge over the Shutterton Brook.

The Dawlish Urban Extension and the new Link Road

The Dawlish Urban Extension and the new Link Road

Councillors agreed to complete to funding agreement to draw down the funds and deploy them with Devon County Council acting as delivery partner and commissioning the works so that the project can be completed during 2021.


Cllr Martin Wrigley said: “We have been campaigning on this for a long while in Dawlish. There already 400 odd houses that have been built that can only be accessed by one road that goes past a primary and secondary school.

“This will be a welcome extra access and is critical for the wellbeing of the town and the sooner the road is built the better.

“It has been needed for a long, long, while. The current road is ridiculous as you have lorries thundering up and down a road that children are walking to school on.”

Elm Grove Road, Dawlish

Elm Grove Road, Dawlish

Cllr John Petherick, the council’s vice-chairman added: “Elm Grove Road was built 70 years ago and hasn’t changed since, but since then, 1,500 odd houses have been built with another 850 in the pipeline. It feeds onto the A379 and is a treacherous junction. In peak periods, it is very much a nightmare on Elm Grove Road so anything to improve it is welcomed.”


The HIF will secure the early delivery of the first phases of the link road from the Sainsbury roundabout down to the boundary of the Gatehouse development, including a bridge over the Shutterton Brook.

Delivery and financing of the road that would ordinarily be required of the developers, Fergus Pate, Principal Delivery Officer, said, but Cllr Adrian Patch asked whether therefore the HIF was a windfall for the developers.

In red, where the two ends of the Secmaton Link road will run from

In red, where the two ends of the Secmaton Link road will run from

Mr Pate said: “There was enough money to deliver the road and all the affordable housing that are policies require. We could either get grant funding to deliver the road and the all the affordable housing, or make developers pay for the road and get less affordable housing. The government through the HIF have put in £4.9m that developers would otherwise have to pay to maximise the amount of affordable housing.”


Cllr Richard Daws said that it sounded very much like the developers had been given a windfall. He added: “Listening to the local members speak, this road is needed, but it sounds like it was needed five years ago and before the development took place.

“It does sound like the developers have got off and when the Local Plan is reviewed, we need to make sure the infrastructure comes first before any housing. It does sound like a very good scheme, but has come five years too late.”

Gv of Langdon Road and Secmaton Lane, Dawlish, near where the southern section of the link road will connect

Gv of Langdon Road and Secmaton Lane, Dawlish, near where the southern section of the link road will connect

Mr Pate’s report to the meeting added: “While there can be confidence that the developers would ultimately need to deliver the link road, the timescales cannot be certain. Road commencement would rely on housing development commencing first, and further, with no HIF funding, the bridge would also be challenging to deliver.

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“The HIF is also paying to deliver a road that would ordinarily be required of the developers. This is on the basis that development viability would otherwise be reduced.

“Confirming the grant funding agreement with Homes England will unlock early delivery of the Dawlish DA2 link road and bridge. This will fulfil an important Local Plan and community priority.


“Besides officer time in completing agreements and coordinating project funds and delivery the grant funding should result in no additional resource implications for Teignbridge.”

Approving the receipt and expenditure of £4.9m of grant funding from Homes England, towards the development costs of the new link road was agreed almost unanimously by the council, with the three Newton Says No members abstaining.