The meeting of DCC's cabinet backed plans to progress the project to a position where the necessary powers can be secured to deliver the railway. Councillors approved significant additional work, including detailed design, further assessments of usage, the development of an environmental statement and business case, as well as ensuring funding is in place.

The line, which closed in 1968, is needed to support a development of 750 new homes southwest of Tavistock, providing a direct link to Plymouth for access to jobs and education.

The baseline cost of £18million is set to rise to £25m, the meeting heard. The bulk of this (£14m) will come from developer contributions.

However, plans already approved by the council for a cycle and pedestrian route alongside the railway have been scrapped because of problems with width, maintenance and increased costs. Alternative cycle routes will be sought.

This may just be another bit of the puzzle of providing an alternative route to the Great Western Main Line through Dawlish.

Previous reports for Devon County Council