Latest News - Exeter and East Devon Growth Point

Clyst Honiton Bypass Tunnel Arrives

80m Bypass Tunnel Arrives on Site 

Large concrete sections have now started arriving on site at the Clyst Honiton Bypass to create a tunnel.  The tunnel which is a safety measure at the foot of Exeter Airport’s runway, will comprise of 44 sections or arches which will create an 80 metre long tunnel.  Once complete the bypass will take traffic away from the local roads of Clyst Honiton and provide access to key employment sites.  

The construction of the tunnel marks another major milestone in the story of the developments of the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point, unlocking access to key development sites and bringing the prospect of new jobs ever closer.  

Cllr Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council said “Start of work on the tunnel is fantastic news. The bypass is the last piece of infrastructure that was required outside of the Sky Park and the Intermodal Freight Terminal sites, providing access and enabling them to be developed, what’s more this has been achieved without compromising the airport operations”.  

The sections of tunnel began arriving at the end of last week and are being lifted into place in two halves and linked together at the top to form a 10m high arch.  Once in place the tunnel will be covered with earth, bringing it to the same height as the airport runway.  This will then be covered with grass.  

Devon County Councillor Stuart Hughes, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways and Transportation, said: “The bypass is a key piece of infrastructure, and the tunnel is a significant step towards the developments of Cranbrook and East of Exeter.”  

The £9 million Clyst Honiton Bypass scheme has been made possible through partnership funding: it has been part funded through contributions from the developers at nearby sites, the Regional Infrastructure Fund which is managed by the Homes and Communities Agency, money from the Growth Point Fund and the land was provided by Devon County Council and the Church Commissioners.  

Ian Guy, Senior Development Manager for St. Modwen, the company working with Devon County Council as the joint venture partner and developer of the £210 million Skypark scheme, commented: “This next stage in the construction of the bypass is bringing us closer to the completion of Skypark’s main road link to the M5 and Exeter and also the delivery of the second major new entrance directly into our site. Occupiers seeking commercial space can see the bypass works moving forward as well as Skypark’s other main entrance off London Road which is now complete. Everything now is in place to start the development and we are talking to prospective occupiers.”  

Mike Owen Project Manager to the Cranbrook New Community Partners said: “We are delighted to have reached the stage that the tunnel works are now proceeding and look forward to the completion and opening of the road during the spring of 2013. The delivery of this key element of the wider east of Exeter infrastructure package further consolidates the continued and dynamic partnership with the adjacent development schemes, the HCA, the Growth Point Board, DCC and EDDC in opening up the further delivery of new homes and jobs."

Work on the bypass will continue into 2013 and it is anticipated that the whole scheme will be completed before the summer.  

Matt Roach Managing Director Exeter International Airport said “The Airport has worked closely with both designers and contractors to ensure that the safe operation of the airport is maintained at all times. We welcome this key piece of infrastructure which opens up the gateway to a number of key developments in the area.”  

The Clyst Honiton Bypass combined with improvements to the B3174 ‘London Road’ (the former A30) will soon open up access to both Skypark business park, the Inter-Modal Freight facility, where Sainsbury’s are currently carrying out site preparation work for the building of a distribution centre and improve connectivity to the new community of Cranbrook which is now under construction.

20 November 2012