A new tram stop providing a direct link to Seaton Wetlands could be open by the spring.
The Seaton Tramway station has been given the go-ahead by East Devon District Council (EDDC).
Currently, the tramway, which runs between Seaton and Colyton, only stops off at Colyford.
A spokesman for Seaton Tramway said of the news: “We are delighted that this application has been approved, which will provide an exciting link between Seaton and its award-winning wetlands.
“Our contractors are now moving to deliver the project, with a view to open and start accepting visitors in the spring.
“This recognises a significant investment by both Seaton Tramway and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
“We would like to thank the consultees, contributors and all supporting parties that have made this long-held ambition become a reality.”
Current arrangements do not allow for trams to stop at the proposed location, so a new timetable tram stop is to be created at the existing Swan’s Nest ‘passing loop’.
The new tram stop would allow passengers to alight and directly access the wetlands.
It will enable visitors, including people with disabilities, to get off the trams and explore this stunning natural environment.
Approving the plans under delegated powers, an EDDC planning officer said: “This application represents a unique opportunity to provide a direct connection point between two of Seaton’s major visitor attractions with potential benefits arising for both and the town.
“The proposal is considered to represents a positive benefit to the tourism and visitor offer of the town and to raise awareness of the local environment and biodiversity supported by the wetlands.”
The new tram stop is part of a masterplan that EDDC’s cabinet threw its support behind earlier this month.
It aims to create a new circular walking/cycle route around three of Seaton’s most popular attractions – Seaton Wetlands, Seaton Jurassic, and Seaton Tramway.
All are run by different organisations, but collectively offer a combined environmental, heritage and educational experience.
A group of officers and external partners will now form a project delivery group that will identify and report on feasibility of delivery, make recommendations for taking the projects forward, and, where necessary, secure funding for their delivery.