Norwich’s proposed northern bypass is set to be fast-tracked through the planning process, as councillors seek to get work started on it by 2015.

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The £141.5m scheme, known as the Northern Distributor Road (NDR), has been on the drawing board for a decade and £86.5m towards the cost has been secured from the government.

But the 19.5km road, which would stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham Road, has yet to get planning permission.

Council officers are worried that, if the usual planning route is followed, it could delay construction of the road, which they say has the potential to bring in £1.3bn of investment to the county.

They asked members of the county council cabinet to agree to instead agree the council should use government legislation to get the road designated as National Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).

If the road was dealt with as such a project, it would mean the council would not have to submit an application for it to its own planning committee and would not have to deal with side road orders or compulsory purchase orders separately.

Instead, an independent inspector appointed by the planning inspectorate, would decide whether permission should be granted for all those things. The inspectorate would make their decision after looking at written submissions and a public hearing and council bosses insist those against the road would get their say.

Councillors backed that move at a meeting yesterday and also agreed to add an extra £5m to the cost of the road to revise the route, following public consultation.

Those changes include shifting a roundabout earmarked for Fir Covert Road in Hellesdon to Fakenham Road and a proposed pedestrian, cycling and farm vehicle bridge at Low Road in Great Plumstead swapped for an all-vehicle bridge at Middle Road, with Low Road closed.

Councillor Shelagh Gurney, who represents Hellesdon, said: “I am pleased we have listened, because one of the concerns in Hellesdon was that there would be a traffic impact on Reepham Road and Cromer Road.

“I know there has been an awful lot of work done and I Know Hellesdon residents will welcome this recommendation.”

But the changes to Low Road and Middle Road sparked questions from members of the public. Jeff Jordan, from the Norwich Cycling Campaign, said: “This will cause difficulties for cyclists, with the increased traffic, compared to the previously planned agricultural access bridge at Low Road.”

He asked what consultation had been carried out with groups such as the Norwich Cycling Campaign.

Graham Plant, cabinet member for planning and transportation, said the council had met individual cyclists during consultation and specifically with cycling groups in June. He said: “Having considered all views, we believe the current preferred layout is that the newly proposed brigde on Middle Road strikes the right balance of providing access for the community and a link for cyclists to use.”

8 comments

  • Inevitable wasn't it! With all the damaged roads that still have not been properly repaired (probably because this project has funneled all the monies)that we have to live with and they are pushing ahead for more tarmac which there will be no long term repair plan.

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    Marigold

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • So freedom to walk all over everyone on the route. to compulsory purchase and wreck lives and destroy the countryside because of a whim. Everyone with so much as a big back garden should watch out for Cameron's new community backed development compulsory purchase orders ( unrelated to this road) a recipe for parish and district council corruption if ever there was one. And what will we get from the NDR -a road something like that around part of Lincoln, single carriage way and gridlocked with jams .And the houses in the developments? Some of the estates being built by Persimmon and other developers elsewhere in East Anglia are vile-towering three storeys to cram the most on the land, homes built right up to the pavement edge, legal complications of shared " car barns" and so crowded one can't help but think they will be slums in a few years if the demand for housing falls. In fact many are let to tenants by the builders because they cannot sell them. Let's face it, it is NCC which should be facing an inspection and review, not the road-most of the councillors are not fit for purpose. The nonsense of their Coltishall plan has to prove this. If there was viability private investors would have jumped in.

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    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • MG must be so relieved, they've been really strapped for cash this year. Great that NCC can tap into council coffers to help out the needy.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Graham Plant is a chip shop and restaurant owner- can someone say how that fits him for a role as a councillor with responsibility for planning, transport and road development ? Come to that how are many of the councillors fit for the roles they fill-do they ever have to prove they have got past Ladybird reader book 10 and are anything other than fly and gobby?

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    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Extra £5 million here, extra £1.5m to improve road link to RAF Coltishall, are we having a spending spree NCC? Oh, and add to that whatever RAF Colt is going to cost US! Recession? Very hypocritical NCC when you have made so many cutbacks and continue to slash peoples jobs, benefits and spending in areas where it matters, whilst the inner sanctum of the cabinet play out their seasonal Ebeneezer Scrooge role!

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    jaybaxter

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Bye bye localism,enter Stalin.

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    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • The independent inspector would have to be some kind of half-wit to sanction a road that literally goes nowhere and which almost certainly will cause more problems than it solves.

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    John L Norton

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • You forgot to mention his split loyalties daisy roots, that little bit extra that propels you into the limelight. last time I heard cllr. Plant was on radio Norfolk offering to resign. maybe now people will understand how important it is to get away from party politics next may, because the design and re-design of the NDR, without much care for anybody else. Creating more rat running through Drayton and Ringland, will make this road a nightmare. A fundamental question should be, why does this council not realise that their planning is in a state, why have they not start planning to add an extra mode of transport 20 years ago?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

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