Council bosses are hoping to kick-start work on the proposed multi-million northern bypass around Norwich - by getting it declared a project of national importance.

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How the process would work

All interested parties, including anyone affected by the route, have the right to take part. The process would then be:

1. Pre-application - when the proposal will be going through development and wide consultation. That would take place in the new year.

2. The Planning Inspectorate considers whether the application can proceed. This includes the adequacy of the consultation.

3. A preliminary meeting of interested parties is held to set out a timetable for examining the application.

4. The application is examined through written submissions and a public hearing. The Planning Inspectorate has six months to carry out the examination.

5. After examination, a recommendation to the Secretary of State must be issued within three months, and the secretary of state has three months to issue a decision.

6. There is an opportunity for legal challenge through a judicial review.

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 has yet to get planning permission and council leaders 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.

Officers are asking for councillors to give the go-ahead for the council to use recent government legislation to kick-start the process of getting permission for the road.

They say the dual carriageway road, which would stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham Road, meets the criteria to be designated as a 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.

Graham Plant, cabinet member for planning and transportation at Norfolk County Council, said: “Using that process improves our chances of work starting on time in 2015 and it will save public money because of the inflationary costs if we went beyond that.”

Part of the reason for the council’s determination to get the project moving is that a public inquiry is looming for a key project which will form the gateway for the eastern end of the road.

The so-called Postwick Hub is a new interchange which will serve the proposed Broadland Gate business park – and the scheme has already secured planning permission.

The new road scheme will see the closure of slip roads leading on and off the A47 on to Yarmouth Road, but the scheme is also the potential starting off point for the NDR.

A public inquiry was due to be held in September, but was postponed by the Highways Agency because a revised traffic assessment on the impact of the changes had yet to be finalised.

The county council wants to include the Postwick Hub as part of the NDR in the application for the road. That would mean, even if a planning inquiry decides the Postwick Hub does not stack up on its own, it would still stand a chance of getting the go-ahead as part of the road in its entirety.

Campaigners against the road, who argue it is just a means to build thousands of homes on the outskirts of Norwich and will lead to even more traffic, said the move was a sign of how “desperate” they were getting.

Denise Carlo, spokeswoman for the Norfolk and Norwich Transport Action Group, which is against the NDR and the Postwick Hub, said: “Norfolk County Council’s latest wheeze reflects a degree of desperation. The reason that central government didn’t promote a NDR as a nationally important project in the first place is because they didn’t regard the county’s proposal as being of national importance.”

Green county councillor, Andrew Boswell, said: “It follows a long series of manoeuvres by the council to try to overcome local opposition to the road - I’m not at all surprised that they’re trying to take yet another manoeuvre.”

But district council leaders and business bosses said the road is vital to Norwich and Norfolk, with the attempt to kick-start it coming as fresh impetus is given to calls to improve the A47.

Caroline Williams, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “We need to see action on the NDR to secure the potential growth in the economy, resulting in the jobs we are all striving for.”

Stefan Gurney, director of the Norwich Business Improvement District, said: “Businesses are looking at the NDR to help reduce congestion in the city centre and that has to be seen as a positive, if it is done the right way.”

Council leaders said the road goes hand in hand with the Norwich Area Transport Strategy, which includes a proposed network of rapid bus routes.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Broadland District Council, said the road was vital to the county’s economic growth, with no growth without infrastructure, while Norwich City Council leader Brenda Arthur said taking traffic off Norwich’s radial roads would make a real difference to quality of life in the city.

But, with the NDR ending at the A1067 and not connecting to the A47 to the west of Norwich, because no solution could be found to take it through the Wensum Valley, critics have said it will lead to more rat-running through area such as Taverham, Costessey and the Marlpit areas.

Members of Norfolk County Council’s cabinet will be asked to make a decision on whether to go down the NSIP route at a meeting on Monday.

They will also be asked to agree to some changes along the proposed route, including shifting a roundabout earmarked for Fir Covert Road in Hellesdon to Fakenham Road, the end of the NDR.

A proposed pedestrian, cycling and farm vehicle bridge at Low Road in Great Plumstead will also be swapped for an all vehicle bridge at Middle Road instead, with Low Road closed.

Those and other changes will add an extra £5m to the bill for the road, but council leaders said it was a direct response to concerns raised by the public during consultation.

The council says the extra cost will be underwritten by the county council, although other ways of paying for it through grants and government funding will be explored.

The cabinet will also be asked to agree that extension work on the Postwick Park and Ride site should start. Planning permission is due to expire in May next year and a new application would have to be lodged unless work gets under way.

53 comments

  • It’s all being done as short term stimulus of the economy because nobody can admit they have no idea how to get the economy going again. Politicians build the roads and houses in your own back yards if you truly believe this is the correct thing to do for our county.

    Report this comment

    paul marris

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • What with the EU ruling on car insurance resulting in increased premiums and the impending fuel duty rises and everything else..... a single lane track will probably be enough to accomodate the few cars left on the road.

    Report this comment

    expat

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

  • John, you couldnt be more wrong, have always worked in private business. Joe, all the main roads are becoming more and more clogged and journey times are increasing, even I notice well into the early evenings most weekdays. Trevor, maybe one of my posts was removed to make way for your double post.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Saturday, December 1, 2012

  • I live in costessey and its already a nightmare with traffic if they are going to build this road which will no doubt be double the cost of what is now they have got to link it up with the a47 at easton . even then i wouldnt use it because it means driving 3 miles in the wrong direction to join it a bit like the southern bypass which should of had a decent connection from say bowthorpe to the watton turn off

    Report this comment

    david106

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • That Abraham has got to work for NCC as no one else could be as stupid.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • After pointing out that Archant were guilty of 'Duplication' with this story, it appears that the moderators have been at work. Needless to say, All the original comments were removed also. Perhaps for the sake of continuity they could be re-instated here.

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • It’s clear to me and reading all the posts that we do not need or want this road and the developers that then come in and build houses that we do not want or need in the areas that they are not wanted. I know I am sick of commenting on then. So how can we stop this all taking place?

    Report this comment

    paul marris

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • I suppose that this road is required to attract housing developers, as this is the favoured area for growth, but shouldn't they be building in the derelict areas of King St Mountergate? The original Hall Rd plan, which was approved, where Asda is hoping to build had alot of housing and a smaller store. Then we have a huge area called the Deal & Utilities site and the old cricket ground. Housing at Anglia Square as well. There are probably a load more places to build without having to construct this "road to nowhere".

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • National Importance?! Dont be so silly. It is not even of Norfolk importance. The only important thing about it is that it is not built and the people of that area are spared the Council's mad dream of importance. That area will never be an area of commercial importance, stuck as it is on the other side of a small market town isolated from the rest of Britain (Yes yes yes I know it is a city but that is only because it has a cathedral as does the tiny hamlet of St Davids in Wales) with poor connections into the county from the rest of the country. Building that road is folly in the extreme.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • lets do the job right first time. complete the circuit or do not bother.

    Report this comment

    donny umbro

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • clearly we do need the houses Fred. Go to www.rightmove.co.uk i cannot find any for sale. i even reduced the price of my house by £20000 below the valued price as i thought i would do someone a favour. get real will you i do not know anybody who is unable to find a house or maybe you are a landowner trying to sell his land to build houses on.

    Report this comment

    paul marris

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • I do like how many of you criticise the need for the NDR, yet if you were to ask how many of your have, in some point of time, used the SDR would say no? Very few, if not none at all, I would imagine. Considering the largely residential aspect of the north of Norwich, I for one think that the NDR is a good idea to alleviate the strain on inner roads. "Bringing misery to the north"? Hardly. If you don't want to support the NDR, them simply don't use it when it's here.

    Report this comment

    ReapnSow

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Another swathe of beautiful countryside to be ruined so people working outside Norfolk can buy cheap houses in Norfolk and commute to work by driving through beautiful... oh, it will be gone by then

    Report this comment

    expat

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Not this stupid road again! When will they get it though their thick heads; It's got to be a full NDR or nothing.

    Report this comment

    Catton Man

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • How many people have actually looked at the plans for the proposed Norwich Distributor Road? It is NOT a bypass in the same way as the Southern Bypass but merely a series of dual carriageways crossing current arterial roads into Norwich by the use of roundabouts! Alleviate traffic? I don't think so - it is a ploy which will then facilitate the building of more housing than is actually required by the GNDP area. One wonders what the actual agenda is and who is pulling the strings...

    Report this comment

    Rosie Specs

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • An explanation is required as to how building part of a road "has the potential to" bring in £1.3billion in investment,a figure which requires scrutiny and investigation.For an investment of over £140 million of public money,we need more than "potential",we need evidence and facts.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Heard MG are short of cash, nice to see NCC wants to help.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • ... in fact, one of Abraham's comments from this thread has now disappeared during the course of today (Wednesday). Late morning there were two by him, next to each other. The longer of the two has now been removed. Most odd!

    Report this comment

    Trevor Ashwin

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • Why don't Archant do something useful for the City and County. by starting a campaign to kill off for good, this criminal waste of money

    Report this comment

    niblick

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Thats Norwich thinking about them selfs again how about sorting out the a47 all the way from Norwich to Peterbourgh that would help everybody in Norfolk not just Norwich.

    Report this comment

    Lynnstarsmonkey2

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Duplication is Not allowed!

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Unless it joins up with the existing bypass, this is the road to nowhere, and will caused high volume traffic to be dumped onto the Fakenham road which is not even a dual carrigeway ! The noise factor this road will create, will lower the quality of life, for people living within 3 miles or more, of this road to nowhere. The only thing it will do is boast the ego of all those councilors who want to see it happen ! That's a fact !

    Report this comment

    Stop Press

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Reapnsow the Southern bypass was built as a route for the A47 trunk road from Yarmouth to Leicester and as a relief for Norwich. It was not built primarily to distribute suburban traffic around Norwich, which is what the NDR seems to be intended for. The towns in North Norfolk are not overly large and it is unreasonable to expect to move to a suburb and then have a major roadbuilt just to get you a few miles to work.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • without the southern by pass all the traffic at rush hour would be trying to come down newmarket road ,ipswich road ,hall road..the city is nearly at a stand still now what would it be like with all the rest we nevered finished the old ring road and we will never finish the new .the yokels of norwich do not want it

    Report this comment

    AOTWAY@BTINTERNET.COM

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • If there was one new road needed to give relief to the majority of North Norwich, it would join the Airport to Dereham Road, and cut out that congestion of traffic using the current ring road. The proposed NDR is a non starter if it's intention is to give relief to road users. Let us have the priorities attended to first

    Report this comment

    Joe Rome

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Abraham!. Please tell us which of the North Norwich roads are 'getting worse all the time'. Then give thought as to how The NDR will benefit people from North Norwich, Spixworth, Wroxham, Salhouse, Rackheath, and beyond to get into and out of the City. ..For goodness sake realise that this road is being intended for ONE reason and ONE reason only.... That is to service the building of around 10,000 unwanted, overpriced homes to house not Norfolk people, but those immigrating into the area. When that happens you may have just cause to say the 'roads are getting worse', and for sure you will be right!

    Report this comment

    Joe Rome

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • "... 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". Hey, EDP - where does this figure come from? Has it been taken from NCC's press releases? If so, does it make sense and can it be substantiated? Some independent journalism analysing and -- if necessary -- critiquing this claim would be very useful.

    Report this comment

    Trevor Ashwin

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Get on and build the road - its definitely needed. Some of the arguments against are not very logical. It cant be a bypass because it has roundabouts? So thats why everyone drives through Thetford rather than the A11. It cant be a bypass because its not complete? So thats why everyone drives through Cambridge rather than using the A14 or M11. Its only to allow housing? well great because we need plenty.

    Report this comment

    Fred

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Archant asked for our views on the 'kick start to the NDR'. Why then have they decided to withdraw the opportunity for interested people to do just that by withdrawing the work of Dan Grimmer twice from the EEN website? Over 50 comments have been made in the last 2 days, and it must be assumed that they did not like what was being said!

    Report this comment

    Joe Rome

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • put a stop to this waste of money now, is not needed

    Report this comment

    norfolko

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • If the houses are not wanted, they wont get built. If they are overpriced, they will only sell if all houses are overpriced, and that will be, at least in part, because demand exceeds supply. If the overpriced houses only sell to outsiders then they clearly want to live here and can outbid "locals" so if new houses are not built they will outbid our kids for existing houses.. So build the road, build the houses and support business to provide the jobs.

    Report this comment

    Fred

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Now Archant have become little more than an mouthpiece for NCC I wouldn't be surprised if they mounted a campaign to support the NDR in the near future....

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • How many drivers who dont already ratrun through TaverhamRinglandCostessey are going to deliberately get on the NDR in order to do so? I cant believe it will be many. Three quarters of a pint is better than no pint at all!

    Report this comment

    Fred

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Dan Grimmer!...What has happened to your story dated 26th Nov, and the comments it attracted? Do we start afresh again tomorrow?

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • There may well be a need to do as you wish Lynnstars, but they can't afford a complete NDR for Norwich,.You can forget it!

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • el84 is correct, unless it connects the A47 at both ends it's just a road, a road which will bring misery to Norwich commuters. The only people who will benefit from this are landowners and developers. North and East Norwich will be a sea of grey generic structures and supermarkets, whilst TaverhamHellesdon will be choked even more thanks to rat runs. With so many offices, shops and units empty within the city do we need expanding business parks on the outskirts? of course not, but the developers will of course profit by knocking down empty buildings and turning them into generic housing and by building the new offices.

    Report this comment

    Rob_H

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • This road is not a bypass of Northern Norwich. It will simply divert some traffic away from Northern Norwich, but put larger amounts into other parts of Northern Norwich. I think the idea of a proper bypass is a good one, but it does need to link with the A47 at both ends to be a bypass & work as it should.

    Report this comment

    el84

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • What do I think? Norfolk County Council should stop wasting massive amounts of our money on this road to nowhere at a time when essential services are being cut. Building the road will bring misery to north and east Norwich because it is merely a way of accessing large areas of land for building, not a solution to traffic problems.

    Report this comment

    DrJB

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Coming soon to a neighborhood near the NDR...50 years of contaminated hardcore from the runway, peri-track and hard-standings of former RAF Coltishall. Be amazed at years of spilt jet fuel and antifreeze washing into a watercourse in YOUR neighborhood! Seriously people...this will be a real environmental catastrophe.

    Report this comment

    jaybaxter

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • What you are all missing out on is that we can import many thousands of unemployed people from outside the county to do these jobs that are possibly already being done in some run down part of the north east. The income to county hall will go up because there are more employers and more residents and county council debts will get paid off. Farmers will retire on the proceeds from the inflated sale of their agricultural land only to pay higher taxes. All this means that the A47 and the A11 will have to be improved from national budgets because of the importance of Norwich and then Norwich will expand even further bringing in more people from out of county attracting more investment. Then the natives will have to diversify or move to the new agricultural nerve centre of the West Midlands. Why people are not embracing this whole NDR thing, I do not know.

    Report this comment

    George Ezekial

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • This road scheme is not really part of any transport strategy. It is intended to facilitate development on an enormous scale to the north of Norwich, which will be enormously profitable to landowners and local authorities.

    Report this comment

    Trevor Ashwin

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • the people of norfolk have been short changed of new roads since the war.the apathy of the norfolk people to big development is holding us back .spike milligan said bex hill on sea was the land of the living dead.do we want norfolk just to become a retirement area and another land of the living dead .get on with this road start on the other side and come all the way round .will we be a city with two unfinished ring roads

    Report this comment

    AOTWAY@BTINTERNET.COM

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • Normal bending of the rules and inventive interpretation to suit. They are determined to get their road regardless of what is needed or what the people of Norfolk want. Seeing as the NDR is the only way to get all the planned housing built, they will build it despite what anyone thinks. The decision is already made and the building of the NDR will go ahead; it's a case of when, not if. The time has come for some panic activity as someone's realised the permission is soon to expire but no doubt that can be sorted as well with some imaginative thinking.

    Report this comment

    JanieH

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Having lived in Costessey for 43 years and seen the increased volume of traffic that comes through from the Taverham direction and up Longwater Lane it defies belief that anyone could possibly think of building this road unless it goes all way round to the A47. Surely if ordinary people can see the flaws in this argument surely the elected members along with the high salary earners who frequent the Council chambers can see what is common sense or does money driven dreams along with pipe dreams take priority? Nothing but a potential dosaster for the area. This will only be of National importance if the Govt. decide that in future to relieve the London area all traffic to the Midlands be re-routed via Norfolk!

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Stew, i thought I was dreaming! I posted on that report and now it's disappeared, is this going to be a regular thing? My point made was the same as Joe Rome, get the link between airport and dereham road sorted at a fraction of the price. I cannot believ that there are some out there that still believe this road will reduce driving time, it's going to be a nightmare with priorities at roundabouts and all the increased cars from the over development.

    Report this comment

    Marigold

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Get this road built asap. The congestion in and around Norwich, especially the Northern areas is getting worse all the time.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • I also wonder how common-or-garden councillors with no real knowledge of how this sort of thing happens suddenly become leading experts in whatever portfolio Derrick Murphy gives them? They all seem to toot about saving money yet are oblivious to the £500m black hole behind them. Stick to flipping burgers, Graham.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • The next 'national interest' if NCC is getting away with this side stepping or normal planning procedures, will be five incinerators, pylons through the Yare valley, buying Coltishall, etc. etc. NCC will be responsible for increased congestion and pollution in Hethersett, Drayton Ringlands and Cringleford. I raise this again, a haulier coming from Aylsham and going to the Midlands, will not drive all around Norwich's easterly bypass to get to the A47, when west Norwich's shorter route saves him energy and time.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • I see NCC is saying that they might put this plan forward to the government to try and get it declared a project of national importance. Surely the government would be most foolish to even consider it, when it is evidently flawed from start to finish and of no importance nationally whatsoever and let’s not forget there are literally dozens of schemes all over the country which are of national importance unlike this which appears to be a typical NCC dogs breakfast. I have absolutely no faith in these people whatsoever with their lies and deceit, just who are they representing? It’s not the general public and that’s a sure bet.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Cat's out of the bag now that NCC are putting up money to improve roads around Coltishall! Incinerator here we come.

    Report this comment

    Marigold

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • This is a planning trick to get around objections used by desperate planners at their wits end. Sadly after listening to Graham Plants offer of resigning last week over the ill thought out public survey, this has now become desperation. Once declared a project of national importance, it overrides the objections for the 'national interest'. This road is not even in the interest of the whole of Norfolk, never mind the country. To start now, when the soils are waterlogged, effectively one of the wettest years for decades, explicitly shows the desperation. The Ferry service to the continent and surrounding side issues, are far more important to Norfolk and the national economy than this bypass.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • ... in fact, one of Abraham's comments from this thread has now disappeared during the course of today (Wednesday). Late morning there were two by him, next to each other. The longer of the two has now been removed. Most odd!

    Report this comment

    Trevor Ashwin

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • Could agree with "Joe Rome" more! The proposed building of the NDR is has absolutely nothing to do with easing traffic congestion that side of Norwich it is all about NCC trying to steam roll through the building of thousands of unwanted, overpriced homes and totally changing the landscape (for the worse) in that area for ever!! Some people choose to live in cities, some people choose to live in suburb and some choose to live in a rural location. What you don't choose is that after savings for years so that you can move out of a city into a rural area is to have a bloody great dual carriage way built at the end of your garden and your quaint little village swallowed up in the urban sprawl of a City which is all focused and spreading in entirely one direction - Probably in totally the opposite direction to where all the councillors from NCC live!!

    Report this comment

    The Golden One

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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