“The saga of the proposed completion of Dinan Way has taken another twist, after Whitehall chiefs stepped in to stop it being approved.
It had seemed the long wait for the new road was over, after Devon County Council’s development management committee voted to approve the scheme, for an 830m stretch of road linking Hulham Road and the A376, last week.
But the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has now issued a holding notice, while it considers if the Secretary of State should intervene to make the final decision.
This is understood to be due to a protest by the National Trust, which has opposed the scheme due to concerns about the effect on Grade One listed A la Ronde, in nearby Summer Lane.
A DCLG spokesman said: “We have received some representation, and the decision we have made is to put in a holding direction, which means we now have the time to consider whether to call it in or not. If it was called in it would be for the Secretary of State to decide.”
Development management committee member Councillor Eileen Wragg said she understood the National Trust had made the application.
The National Trust had not responded to a request for a comment at the time of going to press.
Exmouth councillors had told last week’s meeting the new road was long overdue.
Councillor Bernard Hughes, whose Halsdon and Woodbury ward includes the site of the new road, told the committee: “Much traffic [currently] passes Exmouth Community College, and a hospital and a very busy health centre. I have no doubt that, given the chance, an estimated 40 per cent of traffic would use this [proposed] road.”
Cllr Wragg said: “I have no hesitation in supporting this. “It would not redirect traffic from the A376, but it would reduce pressure on other roads running through residential areas.”