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Devon County Council – has it given up on Totnes?

October 15, 2018 10:48 PM
By John Birch

Maudlin Road, TotnesWas it as a result of losing the legal battle over its High Street scheme that went to the Court of Appeal in April 2016? Some say it cost Devon County Council over £100,000 in legal fees. As a result of this does the County hold a grudge against the people of Totnes? Let's hope this is not the case.

Take the case of the collapsing wall in Maudlin Road. The wall collapsed in March 2018 and blocked the road. Roads are the responsibility of the County. The local residents got fed up waiting for the County to take action and so they took it up on themselves to clear a way through the rubble. It is now seven months since the wall collapsed and still the County has not cleared the rubble heap on the road. What are they playing at?

This lack of interest by the County gives rise to even bigger concerns. What are they? The concerns are the lack of interest shown by the County in how it is going to use the S106 planning agreement monies it has or will collect for the purposes of transport and road improvements from the building developments recently carried out in Totnes.

These are the developments and sums involved;

  • Great Court Farm £123,243
  • Ashburton Road £85,296
  • Riverside £86,567
  • Baltic Wharf £500,000
  • Other developments £355,106

The total is £1,150,212 and of this £240,000 has been spent on the alterations to the Redworth Junction. This leaves £910,212 to be spent on transport and road improvements in Totnes.

Devon County Council, as the Highway Authority, should be putting forward proposals on how this money can be spent to benefit the people of the town. It can be questioned as to whether or not the County has given any thought to this matter. Nothing seems to be appearing on the horizon. The County has not indicated that plans are being prepared for consultation.

What is more worrying is that South Hams District Council has identified the need for urgent action to be taken to improve the air quality in Totnes. There are parts of the town that has deteriorated to an unacceptable air quality level due to road traffic pollution. SHDC has recently undertaken a consultation on a document containing an air quality action plan with a list of options for Totnes. It is now time for Devon County Council to step up to the plate and put forward its proposals and/or plans to address the traffic and air quality issues in Totnes and build on the consultation document prepared by SHDC.

It's time for the Conservative controlled Devon County Council to put the past behind it and step forward with its proposals for spending the S106 monies it has or will collect. Totnes waits in anticipation. The town is becoming impatient and longs for action.