Mustard video: Protesters call for council to scrap Northern Distributor Road plans

Norwich Northern Distributer Road protesters before the preliminary meeting over the planning inquiry. 
Photo by Simon Finlay. Norwich Northern Distributer Road protesters before the preliminary meeting over the planning inquiry. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
9:14 AM

Protesters gathered in Norwich to voice their concerns over the £148.5m Northern Distributor Road project ahead of a preliminary meeting this afternoon.

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What they said?

East of England Ambulance Service – Robert J Flute, head of resilience and special operations: “Clearly any new road infrastructure is likely to help us to get to patients quicker, as the NDR will bring much needed traffic relief to the north and east of Norwich, the city centre and reduce ambulance journey times to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.”

Visit North Norfolk Coast and Countryside – Michael Timewell, chairman: “Tourism in North Norfolk accounts for 6,500 jobs, accounting for 23pc of all employment at a value of £420m.

“The delays caused by the traffic congestion in the north of Norwich currently adversely affect all our members’ businesses, both in terms of visitor inconvenience and additional operating costs.”

Campaign to Protect Rural England –

Katy Jones, Norfolk branch manager: “The NDR will inevitably lead to infill development to the north of the city, causing an increase in congestion and light pollution and a decrease in the quality of life for the people of Norwich and beyond.

“It is an ill-conceived road, which is neither needed nor wanted.”

Green Party – Andrew Boswell, leader of the party on Norwich City Council: “Climate change is one of the most important issues facing mankind and we owe it to future generations to take it very seriously. “This road will increase traffic and emissions and is very damaging to the environment.”

Protesters gathered in Norwich to voice their concerns over the £148.5m Northern Distributor Road project ahead of a preliminary meeting.

More than 50 campaigners called on the council to consider the environmental impact of the road and pay more attention to those opposing the plans.

Leading the protest, Norwich and Norfolk Friends of the Earth co-ordinator Jenn Parkhouse said: “Plans for the Northern Distributor Road have been on the drawing board for decades.

“We feel that the public are unaware of the sheer size of the road, originally it was sold to the public as a small, local road but it is now going to be enormous.

“The council’s own figures project a 43 per cent increase in traffic, but they’ve given no consideration to the impact this will have on targets set in the 2008 Climate Act and no consideration to air pollution and the loss of public access to green spaces.”

At the meeting at Blackfriars Hall 
planning inspector Elizabeth Hill presented a timetable for the full examination, expected to last up to six months.

She also faced a barrage of questions from campaigners who wanted to make their views heard.

Concerns were again raised about a number of consultation documents allegedly lost by the county council at an earlier stage in the proceedings.

Mrs Hill was quick to reassure people that the points raised in those letters had been taken into consideration, and that the examination process would be transparent and even-handed.

She then presented a timetable for the examination, giving interested parties until June 30 to provide written representation or notification of their wish to speak at an open floor hearing.

An accompanied site visit will take place on July 8, followed by the open floor hearing on July 9 and a full timetable will be released later this week.

Norfolk County Council is promoting the NDR scheme, supported by organisations including Norwich Business Improvement District (Bid), Norwich City Council and the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.

A chamber spokesman said: “The Norwich Northern Distributor Road will be a key piece of infrastructure that will provide an effective distributor road for traffic travelling from the north of the city to the south.

“Norfolk Chamber of Commerce considers that the road will provide an excellent base position for the future development of a multi-modal transport strategy which will ensure that Norwich can continue to compete as one of the major cities in the UK.”

What’s your view on the NDR? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

42 comments

  • ..and by the way I agree with the sentiment Footyboy16.

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    Parsnip

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Why doesn't it extend to Easton? This is mental.

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    Parsnip

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • Very sad, bitter and meaningless comments from Footyboy16. What rubbish!

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    Patrick

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • A major issue is that developers, councils and big businesses tend to lack transparency about implications of developments associated with the NDR. 1. Housing: any housing shortage around Norwich is not because the big builders cannot get planning permission. There are well over 10,000 houses around Norwich that already have planning permission (some going back more than a decade) and could be started tomorrow but remain unbuilt. This is because the profit margin is not good enough and the big builders can afford for wait until prices increase. Developers are constantly trying to reduce the number of affordable house they are asked to build in order to get planning permission using the excuse it would make the development unsustainable, i.e cut their profits. There are a surprising number of empty properties in and around Norwich. Last week the Empty Houses Agency stated that there were some 385 such houses in Norwich alone that could be brought back into the market. As I mentioned previously, NCC have indicated that most of the new houses planned would be, not for local people, but migrants from the EU. 3. Jobs: statements are made by supporters of the NDR such as the Local Enterprise Partnership that 20,000 to 30,000 jobs will be created by the massive developments planned. It not clear what type of jobs these will be or how they will be created. Presumably most of these will be taken up by workers who it is envisaged will occupy the new houses. Most of these economic migrants are hard working people but should we be relying on migrant workers while we have local unemployed many of which could be retrained to gain skills needed. Most of the opponents of the NDR support a sustainable economy not huge developments wanted by supporters who seem to be mostly concerned with profit rather than people and communities

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    GMARTIN

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • A major issue is that developers, councils and big businesses tend to lack transparency about implications of developments associated with the NDR. 1. Housing: any housing shortage around Norwich is not because the big builders cannot get planning permission. There are well over 10,000 houses around Norwich that already have planning permission (some going back more than a decade) and could be started tomorrow but remain unbuilt. This is because the profit margin is not good enough and the big builders can afford for wait until prices increase. Developers are constantly trying to reduce the number of affordable house they are asked to build in order to get planning permission using the excuse it would make the development unsustainable, i.e cut their profits. There are a surprising number of empty properties in and around Norwich. Last week the Empty Houses Agency stated that there were some 385 such houses in Norwich alone that could be brought back into the market. As I mentioned previously, NCC have indicated that most of the new houses planned would be, not for local people, but migrants from the EU. 3. Jobs: statements are made by supporters of the NDR such as the Local Enterprise Partnership that 20,000 to 30,000 jobs will be created by the massive developments planned. It not clear what type of jobs these will be or how they will be created. Presumably most of these will be taken up by workers who it is envisaged will occupy the new houses. Most of these economic migrants are hard working people but should we be relying on migrant workers while we have local unemployed many of which could be retrained to gain skills needed. Most of the opponents of the NDR support a sustainable economy not huge developments wanted supporters who seem to be mostly concerned with profit rather than people and communities.

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    GMARTIN

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Debaser, I rent my home from a Housing Association. And just to avoid any adding two and two and getting five I have two jobs and I pay my own rent. Not that there is anything wrong with not doing so.

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    PDH

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • @ PDH do you have a mortgage or own your own home?

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    debaser

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Talking about over priced property the penthouse on Albion (Read) Mill is on the market again for £1,500,000. I think brown field sites have a better use for building factories on to get us out of this housing dependency. And I am not a Nimby saying that because I live a few metres away from Norwich's main under developed brown field site.

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    PDH

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • G. Martin; whilst I do not dispute the bulk of your comment I would just like to query one thing. Whilst the majority of the new homes will be out of most peoples price range. A large number of people people who will be moving into them will be up sizing leaving their current homes for those with lower funds available. Unfortunately we live in a country where the housing market has to expand to keep the economy growing and to adequately house most people (apart from the homeless, of course). There is no quick fix to this problem unless we undergo a period of "Stagflation" which would be damaging to every one in the country. I do not like this situation but that is how it is and I accept it for the benefit of the whole.

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    PDH

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • There seems to be a number of misconceptions about the planned NDR. 1. It will be nothing like the southern bypass; it is a "distributor road" with a roundabouts, not interchanges, every mile or so along its length. 2.The planned NDR does not connect with the A47 North of Norwich. 3. Even if the NDR did connect to the A47 a both ends what driver from the Midlands and North would turn off the A47 to use a slower, traffic filled, roundabout ridden road to get to the Yarmouth area? 4. If the NDR was just to improve connections between existing rural villages North and East of Norwich it would be a useful but difficult to justify the cost of even a single carriage way road. However, the proposed NDR is a developer led road for massive housing developments and retailbusiness parks along its length. Only a small minority of these houses will be affordable to young people trying to get on the housing ladder. 5. The traffic from the some 15000 new houses proposed would generate about 100,000 additional traffic movements a day in the area. 6. Every village along the proposed NDR has either opposed the scheme or expressed serious concerns about the plans. 7.The huge new proposed developments along the NDR would have a knock-on effect adding to traffic congestion not just on radial routes north and east of the city but all radial routes in and out of Norwich. This why communities South and West of Norwich have expressed concerns. 8. Leaving aside such environmental issues as pollution and destructon wildlife; great swathes of farmland would be concreated over and lost forever to production. The people who are going to benefit from the developments on the scale proposed are big businesses not ordinary local residents.

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    GMARTIN

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Personally and some might say from a purely selfish point of view I would like to see some joined up planning in and around Norwich. There are many articles on this site today about various road and construction schemes but none of them seem to take into account each other. Also I am not sure how any of them provide a coherent plan for the future when they are all consulted and designed separately. Unless of course Norwich is going to be split into several different cities with their own border controls. Don't forget your passport.

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    PDH

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • The only people protesting are the Upper Class who don't want their house prices de-valued and sit in their gardens all day sipping pims and playing croquet, or are retired and haven't got anything else better to do with their sad lives. They don't have to get up for work each day and sit in queues of traffic on any of the main roads into the City, they only protest for the sake of protesting and getting themselves in the media. upper class tree huggers.

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    Footyboy16

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • Funny how The Green Party is in favour of unlimited immigration into the UK and would open our borders to all , yet are not in favour of building new homes for people to live in or new roads and airports that will be used by these new migrants

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    blister

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • Just get it built. It should have been done 30 years ago. I know its a pain for those with land in it's path - let's give them a load a cash to compensate. It will improve the quality of life for north norwich massively. Forget the economic upside for transport - Norwich is too isolated. Just concentrate on the quality of life of the 800,000 Norfolk peoples.

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    Parsnip

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • I wish all those who think the NDR is good thing would support their views with facts on which to base their assertions. Making abusive remarks and unsubstantiated claims does nothing to advance their cause. Here are some facts, if you don't believe me contact the transport officer at NCC. Incidentally I live on one of the radial roads into Norwich and am only too well aware of horrendous traffic peak time traffic congestion. 1. NCC, Norwich City, Broadland and South Norfolk Councils years ago produced a plan called the Joined Core Strategy, the NDR is part of that plan. The JCS calls 37000 new houses to be built around Norwich these would generate about 260,000 new traffic movements a day. It is difficult to see how the JCS could fail NOT to increase traffic congestion almost everywhere, in and around the city. . 2. The NDR is essentially a service road for new developments North and East of Norwich forming part of the JCS with a minimum of about 14000 new houses and generating nearly new additional 100,000 traffic movements a day in that area. 3. Why are so many houses needed? NCC say the driving force for so many houses is inward migration mainly from Europe. 4. Hundreds of acres of farmland will be concreted over and lost to production. 5. If the number of houses could be substantially reduced, future traffic congestion would be reduced and there would be no need for a road the size of the NDR . 6. Studies made of recent Government population projections made by CPRE indicate that the housing target in JCS could be reduced by more than 11,000. These figures were agreed by the Greater Norwich Development Partnership and weakens further the argument for the NDR. The opponents of the NDR want a sustainable economy and are not trying to stop all development but stop the virtually untrammeled development plans that are a gravy-train for big developers. What the opponents of the NDR are trying to do is stop the building of the NDR because it is linked to massive housing traffic-congestion creating developments and are calling for plans for such developments to be substantially reduced and cheaper alternatives put in place. People currently supporting the NDR should join with opponents to campaign against the NDR if they really want to stop traffic levels reaching the heights that building it will inevitably cause.

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    GMARTIN

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • Too many trolls on these comment sites methinks! But Beeston Bump has nailed the question to be asked by all.

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    Marigold

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • 15000 new homes needed to fund the NDR. 15,000 new homes equals 30,000 new cars with 30,000 new people looking for 30,000 new jobs. Where are the people and the jobs going to come from and will the NDR be able to cope with all that extra traffic?

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    Barbara

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • The completion of dualling on the A11 will give motorists heading to north Norfolk, an alternative to the A1065 through Brandon and Swaffham. Or will it? The problem is reaching Norwich (or Thickthorn Interchange). There is no western NDR. No route, say, from Longwater to Norwich Airport. Postwick is too far to the east for the NDR to double up as a north - south route. The remit of the inquiry is wrong. A complete NDR, including Postwick should be the subject of one inquiry - this one. Very disruptive work has already started at Postwick - before this inquiry.

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    Capri

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • Build it and stick one in the eye to the patronising greens.

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    Andy T

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • We already have one bypass, but (almost) another isn't required. It's just an excuse to expand Norwich into bland housing estates. Superfluous.

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    komakino

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • I was at the pre emptive media briefing in the morning, extolling the NDR as urgently needed and a nationally important route to Norfolks prosperity. 'Why, I asked, was this nationally important project not important enough to invite the national press?' Toby Cooke thought it a 'damn good question' he could not answer, so chief planner Mr. Grey tried by saying' the nationally important status was allocated by the Government', followed by my question' but it was NCC who asked for this to be included as a nationally important project, did it not?' to which the answer was a 'yes'. So the briefing yesterday was for the supporters to collar the news edge before the inquiery started. I hope that Ms Hill one sided look at the merits of the NDR will not lead to objectors walking out leaving her to talk to herself.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • In the magazine that Broadland council send out every so often were three detailed diagrams of the Postwick development. My wife and I studied them for ten minutes or so and could not make 'head nor tail' of the new system.

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    Steely Dan

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • "the people who do want it" - who are they? How do you count them? If NCC admit tht 80% of the survey respondents are against or unsure, are you saying that everyone who didn't respond is for it? Or could it be that the majority of the population are so indolent that they can't be bothered to do anything except moan about something they COULD have done, if they'd gotten up to be counted? Where's the evidence that most of the vehicles on the radial routes will switch to the NDR once it's built? Is it more likely that they're people trying to get in or out of Norwich rather than around, so the NDR will make very little difference to the congestion in the city? Being incomplete, it'll never fulfill it's supposed aim and will be an extremely expensive white elephant which, on top of the incinerator fiasco, will cause massive cutbacks in the council budget when it overruns on cost (look at any major road development in the last 20 years and show me which ones DIDN'T cost far more than the original estimates).

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    So_Many_Haters!

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • The are probably the same group who complain about every move to improve infrastructure Mr T. Ned Ludd is their patron saint.

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    Michael Clintergate

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • Is it safe to assume that all these individuals protesting against the NDR and developments were also campaigning against the A.11 improvements and Elveden by pass etc. Or was that far enough away from their back yards not to bother them?

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    Mr T

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • There are lots of arguments here about the pros and cons of development and growth. I think what is most unsettling and concerning is that among the elected councillors and business leaders promoting this burst of rapid urban growth for the city, there seems to be no consensus or vision for when Norwich will have grown 'enough'; or that the concept of 'enough' is actually understood. Instead there is just a blind assumption that growth is 'always' needed, and that progress equals development and urban spread. So where does it stop?

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    beeston bump

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • It's needed and has been for a generation.

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    blue tractor

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Why do some plonkers keep on comparing this road to the Southern Bypass? As it is nothing of the sort. This road will cause more problems than it solves and I would have thought any fool could see that, but I guess not.

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    Vic Sponge

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Norwich is a growing. imagine what would happen if the traffic using the southern bypass had to traverse the city... Boundry road ,Chartwell rd etc cannot cope with the traffic volumes any more...but sadly the Nimbys feel Norwich should stay a sleepy back water and live in the past...new houses how dare they they....why should the younger generation have houses built for them to live in..????? the green party et al need to live in the real world. .T he horse and cart died out years ago,,,,

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    999gsi

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • The minority of protestors are trying to halt the progress many people desire

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    Odget

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Come to think of it, where are all the jobs to pay for this new housing?

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • We will see HGV's coming down from Fakenham going to Northhampton, driving via the eastern NDR? Not if the driver has got anything to do with it, he would drive on to the outer ring road and turn right for the A47 at Costessy. But we will need this wretched road to facillitate all the parents trying to go to work and pay for their new houses, or trying to school their children somewhere in Norwich, because their schools are not ready yet, being built last. First we have to build large sewage tunnels able to cope with the new development, all that countryside under tarmac anmd concrete will take some drainage with increasing rainfall.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • It seems to me this road must connect with the A47 at each end. We are told the employment opportunities are at the Research Park, Hethel and Cambridge. It seems to me that if I lived at Taverham the new road wouldn't actually help me to get there with fewer delays unless it goes all round.

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    jennifer jane

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Tar Mac evertyhing in sight for motor vehicles,and when all is under asphalt another transport system will have to be made,and then all will say "where have all the flowers gone"

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    Albert Cooper

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • I just dont buy what the protestors are saying either. They are quoting the council as saying that there will be a 43% increase in traffic!? There must be some context to that, as the way the protestors are presenting that figure seems to suggest that we're suddenly going to see nearly a 50% increase in traffic in the Norwich area. It's as if none of these people are already driving on roads elsewhere. "The NDR has finally been built; now is the time that I'll finally buy that car!?" To that regard I return to my original point - it is time that Green politics came up with a constructive argument.

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    DT

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • 10000s people want and would benefit from such a road look at the southern bypass it's a godsend

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    Jimmy Hupperby

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • So once again it looks like the minority who have nothing else better to do than stop progress and development are going to stand about shouting again. We need this road, and yes, it needs to join up at both ends, cancel these meetings and get on with building it. The silent majority seem to be in favour of it.

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    Mr T

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Vote Green get hippy dippies.Realistic factual arguments only please.Why are these people only active in Brighton and Norwich affluent newcomer leftie lifestyle areas...

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    PaulH

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • DT - roads need to be built ... but what is the POINT of this and also the 'Postwick Hub'? To spend money on enquiries? Just WHY? And come on EDP .. within two lines .. is it 'Distributer' or 'Distributor'?

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    Patrick

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Fifty protesters? Wow. The shame is that the silent majority like me who either want it built, or couldn't care less wouldn't bother to turn up. I don't expect the Planning Inspector will pay any attention, just like with the last ditch attempt to thwart the Postwick Hub.

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    Tom Jeffries

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • The seemingly reoccuring problem with green politics is that they don't seem to accept that some level of development transport is needed. This is a county with population growth, and it is a rural one. We need new infrastructure. We do not all have the ability to cycle or walk everywhere we need to go. I live in the countryside, so I understand the need to protect green spaces, but there has to be some give and take. Particularly around Norwich. I see little alternative being offered up by these people. It is my biggest bugbear with green politics.

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    DT

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • 50 people! - a big turn out then (I don't think). Stop wasting time & money and start building it.

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    Norfolk John

    Monday, June 2, 2014

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

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