Lympestone has to suffer to “benefit” Exmouth

“Lympstone residents have accused Devon County Council (DCC) of ignoring the village during the Dinan Way extension consultation process.

Council officers were subjected to scrutiny by the public at an open meeting in the village over a proposed £12million extension, which will link Dinan Way to the A376.

Mary Truell, who has lived in the area for 88 years and currently resides in Wotton Lane, Lymsptone, said the council had taken no notice of where the road was due to be built.

She said: “I would like to know who put in the application for the road because it is erroneous.

“All the time it talks about Exmouth and Exmouth benefits, but the whole thing is in Lympstone.”

DCC’s chief engineer for highways, Rob Richard, responded by admitting it was a project for Exmouth.

He said: “I am not going to stand here and say this is a scheme for Lympstone because it clearly isn’t. I am not pretending it is something it isn’t.

“It was quite clear the strength of feeling about the south route. It was very much the preference, not only from residents and the community of Lympstone, but also Exmouth as well.

“Unfortunately, consultation for us goes wider than the community and residents and, unfortunately, it is not us that dictates the importance of listed buildings, it’s government policy.

“We don’t get on with the National Trust and English Heritage any better than you guys do.”

Mr Richards added: “Hopefully, the road will provide a long, feasible structure that is going to help move traffic in and around Exmouth.”

DCC has voted through a compromise third route for Dinan Way after two proposed routes – a ‘south’ route and ‘valley’ route – were rejected after consultation. Despite being more popular with the public, the south route, which passed near A la Ronde in Summer Lane, was opposed by the National Trust.

Lympstone district and parish councillor Rob Longhurst accused the county council of letting everyone down with the road extension.

He said: “We are talking about loss of homes, financial hardship and social trauma.

“I am afraid I consider Devon County Council has failed us on these consultations.

“I think £12million is a ridiculous amount. It ignores the views of the consultations, raises the prospects of flooding in Lympstone and puts transient traffic problems over and above the effects on residents here.”