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The development of a world class Science Park at junction 29 of the M5 moved a step closer last week, when East Devon District Council issued permission to Devon County Council's outline application for the site.
This news follows the completion of the section 106 planning agreement which now paves the way for the County Council to submit more detailed plans of the Science Park later this month and embark on £18 million of infrastructure work at Junction 29. This includes a number of improvements at Junction 29 of the M5 including a new traffic signal junction with the A30, additional lanes on the north and southbound offslips, and bus lanes on the A30 to the motorway junction.
Councillor William Mumford, Devon County Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, said: "We're delighted to have achieved outline planning consent and this will provide the launchpad to achieving what will be a vital development for the future economy of our county. This is a major step forward in creating the links to the site that will make this development a reality. We're determined for Devon to emerge stronger from the recession and the Science Park is key to that and central to the success of the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point."
Councillor Ray Franklin, East Devon District Council's Portfolio Holder for Strategic Planning and Regeneration and the Growth Point Chairman said "This is fantastic news for East Devon and fantastic news for all the developments in the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point, including Sky Park and Cranbrook. Each time one of the developments reaches another milestone, it signals the strength in the whole package of growth being developed, which includes a large number of affordable homes, skilled job opportunities and the transport scheme linking them all together. But essentially it will be the residents of Exeter and East Devon who will benefit from the exciting opportunities that these major developments, like Exeter Science Park will offer."
Exeter Science Park, which will provide services for knowledge intensive firms and will have strong links with the University of Exeter Innovation Centre, is being developed through the partnership of the University of Exeter, the Met Office, South West RDA, Exeter City Council, Devon County Council and East Devon District Council. Together they are keen to encourage the development of Exeter as a Science and Knowledge-based city and to create an environment at the Science Park that encourages enterprise in science.
Devon County Council's deputy leader John Clatworthy, who is a board member of the new Science Park Company, said: "The Council welcomes this important decision because we can now start in earnest on laying the key foundations to the Exeter Science Park. We have shown our commitment to this project by investing in the company set up to run the Science Park so that we can play a leading role in helping create jobs for the county. As this development starts come to fruition I've no doubt this will prove to be a prudent investment."
The Science Park offers the potential to create up to 3,700 jobs in the first 15-20 years. A full planning application is expected to be submitted at the end of this month.
East Devon District Council passed a resolution to grant outline planning permission for Exeter Science Park in November 2009 and following this decision notice, it is still hoped that work to clear the site can begin later in 2010 with the first buildings underway in 2011.
Lesley Crocker, T: 01395 571744, M: 07545419360
Notes to editors
Exeter Science Park
For more information about Exeter Science Park:
Exeter and East Devon New Growth Point
For more information about Exeter and East Devon Growth Point:
New Growth Points
A New Growth Point is a Partnership initiative between the Government and local authorities wishing to pursue large scale sustainable growth.
Exeter and East Devon New Growth Point is a partnership commitment between Devon County Council, Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council, The South West Regional Development Agency, the Homes and Communities Agency and the Government to deliver sustainable economic growth. Exeter and East Devon was recognised by the Government as a New Growth Point in 2006.
Further information about New Growth Points and Partnership for Growth with the Government, can be found at: