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Update: £148.5m Norwich Northern Distributor Road would be a ‘grievous wound’ to county, objectors claim

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 July 2014

Norwich Northern Distributor Road supporters(l to r) 
John Timewell, Vice-Chairman, Toby Coke, Chairman of the Environment, Development & Transport Committee, Norfolk County Council, Andrew Proctor, Leader of Broadland District Council and Tom McCabe, Director of Environment, Transport & Development, Norfolk County Council at the media briefing before the preliminary meeting over the planning inquiry. 
Photo by Simon Finlay.

Norwich Northern Distributor Road supporters(l to r) John Timewell, Vice-Chairman, Toby Coke, Chairman of the Environment, Development & Transport Committee, Norfolk County Council, Andrew Proctor, Leader of Broadland District Council and Tom McCabe, Director of Environment, Transport & Development, Norfolk County Council at the media briefing before the preliminary meeting over the planning inquiry. Photo by Simon Finlay.

A proposed £148.5m road in Norfolk would be a “grievous wound” to dozens of villages in the county, a public hearing has been told.

Views on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR) were made clear to a team of planning inspectors at the Bob Carter Centre in Drayton last night.

It was the third in a series of hearings this week, which will help the inspectors come to a decision on whether they think the plans should go ahead - a verdict which will be referred to the transport secretary.

The 19.5km road would be built from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham Road, with Norfolk County Council hoping it will improve journey times, ease congestion and boost the county’s economy.

At the hearing, a series of objectors made their case against the proposals.

Lester Broome, of Hall Lane in Drayton, was one of them.

He questioned whether enough would be done to prevent the “increasing number of accidents” on Hall Lane and Reepham Road, both of which are notorious for congestion and crashes.

The county council’s plans would see vehicles exiting the NDR slip road towards Norwich straight into a sharp bend in Drayton.

Peter Lanyon, who has lived in Little Plumstead for 12 years, voiced his frustration over potential noise pollution and damage to rural areas.

He said: “It will be a very noisy interruption of building development in an area of countryside of particular quality.

“Our countryside is threatened with extinction, we are sacrificing it for what - the motor car? Or is it a sacrifice for greed?

“It is downright untrue that it will go along a rural corridor of any sort. To suggest that there is a corridor of any sort gives a false context. It would be a grievous wound.”

Representations were also made from those living in Thorpe End, Weston Longville, Taverham and Drayton on the possible impact of noise pollution.

Clive Marshall, of Rackheath, explained how the plans had made it impossible to sell his house.

“My wife and I are nearing our eighties and are becoming too old and sick to maintain our house.

“We have had seven buyers interested, but as soon as they find out the road will be 100 yards from our house, they have dropped out.”

Further hearings are scheduled for September, when the inspectors will deal with specific site issues. The examination will be completed by December, after which they will have three months to make a recommendation to the transport secretary.

What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, or leave your comments below.

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