Hopes of new government cash to reduce traffic in Lee Mill village have been boosted after councillors agreed to work with Devon County Council on a multi-million pound bid.

South Hams District Council executive committee met on Thursday (July 7) to approve an application to the Levelling Up Fund (tranche 2) for capital funding for the A38 corridor.

The plans are for a new slip road off the eastbound A38 which would take traffic to a new roundabout and tie in with existing local roads.

Cllr Hilary Bastone (Cons, Dartmouth and East Dart) proposed that councillors work with the county to help secure Levelling Up Fund (LUF) cash and outlined details of a council report into the matter.

He said: “The report also sets out the collaborative approach we have taken to support Devon County Council bid with funding through the Levelling Up Fund (2), which is a capital bid of £15 million to improve the eastbound off-slip from the A38, so that traffic no longer goes through the Lee Mill village.

“Whilst Devon County Council would deliver the scheme, if it’s successful, our council will be the sponsoring organisation.

“We’ve taken this approach and collaborated with Devon to allow them to submit more than one bid across the county.”

Central government’s LUF initiative is part of the 2020 Spending Review to support communities to regenerate town centres, enable investment in cultural facilities or upgrade local transport infrastructure.

The Lee Mill development will also include a new bus interchange with drop off area and cycle parking facilities.

South Hams hopes its multi-modal approach to blend bus and rail transport, cycling and car use, while focussing on active and inclusive travel will see the application viewed favourably.

South Hams executive members also discussed a separate bid for cash from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) bid.

SHDC can bid for a total of £1,062,367 from the fund and agreed to grant authority to the director of place and enterprise to submit a bid.

Among the suggestions for how the money may be used, many councillors thought projects aimed at sustainability would be suitable.

But Conservative councillor for Woolwell, Nicky Hopwood, asked for reassurances that all parts of the district would be considered.

She said: “When you speak to Sustainable South Hams or whichever organisations you speak to with regards [about] all things carbon and green etc., remind them that the South Hams does spread far and wide and does go down as as far as Woolwell and Roborough and doesn’t end at Ivybridge.”