The cost of the controversial Norwich northern distributor road looks set to soar to £141.5m - after county councillors agreed to push ahead with plans for it to be dualled all the way to the A1067.

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And that means Norfolk County Council will have to find an extra £40m to pay for just over four miles of the controversial road, because the government has not agreed to fund the NDR beyond the A140.

The Department for Transport agreed in December to provide £86.5m for the road, but only for the 12.5km section between Postwick on the A47 and the A140 near Norwich International Airport.

However, at a Norfolk County Council meeting yesterday, councillors agreed that the planning application which will be submitted for the road later this year should be for a 19.5km dual carriageway road continuing beyond the A140 to the A1067 Fakenham Road.

And they agreed that, rather than building to the A140 and then looking to extend to the A1067 at a later date, it would make sense to seek planning permission for the whole project at once.

That will add millions of pounds to the cost of the project, with the county council already needing to top up the government funding for the rest of the road by £13.3m.

The council hopes to recoup some of the extra cost through a new ‘tax’ on housebuilding - known as the community infrastructure levy (CIL).

The Greater Norwich Development Partnership (GNDP) - made up of Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk councils - has agreed in principle to provide up to £40m towards the road from that levy.

Tim East, the Liberal Democrat spokesman for planning and transportation, said: “My view is that if we are going to support the NDR, then we should dual it all the way through. It cannot be dualled from Postwick to the airport and then single carriageway to Fakenham Road. That’s a crazy idea.”

He pointed to the fact the bypass at Attleborough, originally single carriageway, had undergone costly dualling years after it was built.

Tony Adams, Conservative councillor for Drayton and Horsford, said: “I think we have learned our lessons when it comes to dualling and if we leave it for 10 years then it will cost us more in the long run. I am proposing that it is a single project and that is a dual carriageway.”

That is the recommendation which will go to cabinet. If cabinet agrees, a planning application will be submitted in the autumn, followed by a series of public exhibitions next year.

The planning application will be considered next spring, which will be followed by a public inquiry next summer.

Pending further approval, work could start on the road in spring 2015, with the road opening two years later.

However, speaking after the meeting, Green county councillor Andrew Boswell, warned: “Conservative councillors chose the most expensive and risky option of going for the full three quarter NDR now at a cost of £53m on top of government funding.

“The council will have to borrow at least £13m and possibly more if the GNDP councils can’t agree to CIL spending priorities. Council taxpayers will be paying interest on this road to nowhere for a long time.”

Meanwhile, Norfolk County Council has organised public information exhibitions this Friday and Saturday to show plans for the £19m improvement of the A47 Postwick junction, seen as the gateway to the NDR.

The exhibitions support the re-advertisement of the draft slip road and side road orders for the scheme.

The county council says the current junction will not be able to cope with future residential and business expansion in the area.

The draft orders are available to view at Norfolk County Council and Broadland District Council offices until Friday, April 13.

The exhibitions will be held at Broadland District Council’s office in Yarmouth Road, Thorpe St Andrew.

They will be open to the public on Friday from midday to 7.30pm and on Saturday from 9am to midday.

County council engineers and Highways Agency staff will be available at the exhibitions to help explain the proposals.

dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

5 comments

  • All well and good but on of the conditions on getting the government money was that they had to deliver the public transport improvements and other sustainable transport modes which when last mentioned was many 10's of millions!!!! This should surely come first as without it the bit between A47 and A140 will not get the government money anyhow. The final link between the A140 and A1067 was always the weakest part of the scheme without the cross valley link so not a good way to spend these very limited funds.

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    commonsense!

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

  • And what about the stretch between the A1067 Fakenham Road back onto the A47 at Easton? This is a big rat-run with lorries from Lenwade to the A47, if any part needs building it is this section but they have dismissed it entirely!

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    CathyP

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

  • It seems there's always lots of money for road schemes but none for the poorest and most vulnerable in our society.

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    DrJB

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

  • This makes a lot of sense. It gives people plenty of time to take into account the implications of the full extent of the NDR - which has been shown on maps for some years - thus reducing opposition when the time comes to construct as a follow-on from the first section.

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    JCW

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

  • Looking at this, another second thought consideration, this time by NCC, comes hard on the heals of the GNDP's planning fiasco. Why was it that dualling was not considered for the whole length? now that they have some assurances of 80 odd million, NCC wants more and changes tyhe goalposts as they go along. We have 50K spare for our soldiers, want to spend more on another bypass, but can't uphold meals on wheels for less than a 1000 OAP's?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

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

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