Bere Alston to Tavistock Rail Line

Core Strategy adopted and Bovis Homes signed up for 750 unit development

The people of West Devon will be invited to help shape the future development of housing and employment land in Tavistock and Okehampton in the autumn. The Borough Council will also be working alongside its partners including the town councils, Devon County Council and other interested organisations to provide everyone with the opportunity to get involved and ensure that the potential new developments in the towns are built to a high quality. The Council is intending to appoint design consultants over the next few months to assist in the process.

Cllr Mandy Govier, Chairman of the Borough Council’s Future Planning and Housing Committee, said: “We have always promised our residents that we would involve them in shaping these developments which will help to meet the needs of the Borough up to 2026. I hope that as many people as possible will get involved.”

The Council is collating contact details for residents interested in getting involved and for more information, contact the Strategic Planning Team on 01822 813600 or email strategicplanning@westdevon.gov.uk. The proposed developments form part of the Council’s Core Strategy which was approved by an independent government inspector in March. Since then, there has been further progress on the proposed Callington Road development in Tavistock.

Specialist infrastructure developer Kilbride Group has completed the sale of its interest in the residential land at the site to national house builder, Bovis Homes Ltd. Kilbride will work with Devon County Council to be the promoter of the rail reinstatement scheme, which will largely be funded by the residential development. The 5.5 mile Bere Alston to Tavistock rail line was taken out of use by Dr Beeching in 1968, and the reinstatement would see the return of direct services between Tavistock and Plymouth.

The project has also gained policy support from Devon County Council’s Third Local Transport Plan which sets out the overarching transportation policy and investment priorities for the County up to 2026. Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation said: “Improving links to major urban areas is a key transport vision for the Devon’s market towns, and making better use of sustainable transport, including rail, is an important element of this vision. This proposed rail link will play a vital role in improving connections between Tavistock and Plymouth to offer a real alternative to using the car, while also providing Tavistock with a link to the national rail network”.

Peter Frost stated: “This is a major step forward for the project and adds considerably to the deliverability of the scheme by drawing on Bovis Homes Ltd’s expertise as a national house builder. Kilbride will now concentrate on the rail element of the project and will look to bring forward detailed proposals as part of a Transport and Works Act Order application, as soon as practical.”
Mike Buxton, Planning Director for Bovis Homes South West region said: "We have a long history of building homes for the people of Devon and we are delighted to be involved with this innovative project which will bring real benefits to Tavistock and the surrounding area."

Contact

Alison Stoneham, Communications Manager
West Devon Borough Council Tel: 01822 813648
Email: astoneham@westdevon.gov.uk

George Marshall, Planning Officer
Devon County Council Tel: 0845 155 1004

Peter Frost, Managing Director
Kilbride Group
Email: peter.frost@kilbridegroup.com

Published on 19/08/2011