A call has been made for the consultation on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road to be re-run, with the Green Party claiming the goalposts were moved in the middle of the process.

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Norfolk County Council has applied to the Planning Inspectorate for a development consent order for the £148.5m road, which would stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham Road.

But, during the consultation with the public over the road, the scheme was designated by the government as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

And that, the Greens say, means the consultation was flawed, because the whole purpose of the road was changed. They say far more people should have been consulted.

Green county councillor Andrew Boswell said: “It is unacceptable that the purpose of the road was changed during last summer’s consultation.

“Norfolk people have been told for years that the road is intended as a local distributor road. Suddenly mid-consultation it became part of a long distance route between the Midlands, East coast and the continent which would bring much more traffic and is a completely different prospect.

“Given this much expanded role, it is totally undemocratic that the consultation continued and that people’s views were only sought in a very small area to the north of Norwich.

“I cannot see how the Planning Inspectorate can accept the consultation as legitimate, and I hope they will act by demanding that the council re-runs the consultation.”

George Nobbs, Labour leader of Norfolk County Council said: “I am very disappointed, but not surprised that Mr Boswell has said this.

“I do not think his remarks contribute anything to the economic wellbeing of the people of Norfolk. I think on this occasion Mr Boswell and his party have taken their dogma and ideology to extremes.”

The proposed 19.5km road has caused controversy. The council says it will bring a huge economic boost and connected improvements, such as a rapid bus transit, will benefit Norwich, while many businesses have backed it.

But critics say it will lead to rat-running and homes which will spring up around it will concrete over swathes of the countryside.

6 comments

  • Interesting that George Nobbs is unable to counter the point Andrew Boswell raised. A personal attack is usually the sign of someone who knows they've been caught out.

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    DrJB

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

  • The consultation process has been flawed, in some respects and the public should be made aware of just what is going on behind closed doors. For example, council officers have tried to cover up critical information which goes against some of their proposals and at times they have been economical with the truth. As Cllr Tim East indicated in a recent article in the EEN the modelling assumptions used, upon which the consultation was based are also wrong, which can seriously mislead the public to false interpretation. With the "successful" St Augustine's road scheme, there were up to date local traffic surveys carried out on all surrounding roads and junctions beforeat initial design stage, on which to base more accurate modelling assumptions upon. This has not been the case with the NDR, yet it is such an important road and will affect so many people. The list goes on, but suffice to say the public deserve better, with openness, honesty and impartiality, indeed that is precisely how the Government intended the whole process to operate, but unfortunately it has not.

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    Norfolk Matters

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

  • This is not just the Green party who see the folly in NCC moving the goalposts during the NDR consultation. This view is shared by the CPRE alliance here in Norwich. The alliance is made up of a large number of local Parish Councils from all over the planned route of the NDR and local campaign groups who see the "road to nowhere" as the key to the large scale urbanisation of Norwich. Mr Dobbs is being disingenuous by trying to score political points in the run up to the European elections. This road is nothing but a facilitation for the discredited Joint Core Strategy which is being used in an attempt to kickstart the economy and provide much needed income to a morally and economically bankrupt council. The NDR can never be an extension to the European road network and any money allocated to this road should be used to improve the real European link road called the A47.

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    SNUB

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

  • Once again a tiny minority of one idea politicians trying to disrupt much needed improved infrastructure. Why do The Greens get so much coverage?

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    Abraham

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

  • Well said George Nobbs. The Green Party cannot see beyond the limits of their own ideology.

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    blue tractor

    Monday, January 13, 2014

  • Do these people know how much consultations cost tax payers??

    Report this comment

    christoph

    Monday, January 13, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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