The inquiry to decide whether the controversial £148.5m Norwich Northern Distributor Road should go ahead could be overseen by a panel of inspectors rather than just one – due to the complexity of the case and the level of public interest in it.

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Norfolk County Council wants to build the 19.5km dual carriageway road from the A47 at Postwick in the east of the city to the A1067 Fakenham Road to the northwest.

The government has agreed to contribute £86.5m towards the cost and has said the scheme is of “national significance”, which has fast-tracked it through the planning system.

Planning inspector Elizabeth Hill had been due to weigh up the evidence during a number of hearings this summer, before making a recommendation to the secretary of state on whether to grant a development consent order.

But communities secretary Eric Pickles is deciding whether she should be the sole examining authority.

Mrs Hill said: “The secretary of state is considering whether this application should now be handled by a panel of examining inspectors, bearing in mind the complexity of the case and the level of public interest in the outcome.”

Until such a decision is made, Mrs Hill said she would not publish a timetable for the examination.

The road has met opposition from Friends of the Earth, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Stop Norfolk Urbanisation (SNUB) and the Green Party, who say it will increase congestion and lead to swathes of the countryside being concreted over. But Norfolk County Council says it will bring a huge economic boost and improvements, such as a rapid bus transit in Norwich.

What do you think of the NDR? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

9 comments

  • Everyone should be clear that the NDR has virtually nothing to do to reducing existing traffic congestion. It is to provide a service road for massive housing developments and retail and business parks. Some 12,000 to 15,000 new house are planned North and East of the Norwich and this is the tip of a developer iceberg. These houses would generate over 100,000 additional traffic movements a day to the existing traffic. Nor do these developments have much do with addressing housing shortages for existing residents. There are more than 12000 houses already with planning permission around Norwich than could be started tomorrow. There are hundreds of empty houses around Norwich; 385 of these are in Norwich itself. The real question is why are so many houses planned North and East of Norwich? Part of the answer is these plans are out of date and revised projections suggest that the existing housing target around Norwich could be reduced by over 11,000 houses. Who are these houses for if not for local residents? NCC have stated this is to accommodate projected inward migration mainly from the EU. Studies by NCC have stated thee were over 50,000 registrations for National Insurance from overseas nationals who came to Norfolk in the year ending March 2011. Many migrant workers will be hard working people but there must something fundamentally flawed with NCC plans when apparently thousands of future jobs are relying on economic migrant labour and plan to build thousands of homes to house them. It is clear that the government is concerned about the scale of this issue and will be reducing the number of migrant workers. Another aspect of all this is what type of jobs is it envisaged people will have who would occupy all these houses? Some people have suggested extending the planned NDR to A47 NW of Norwich but this would encourage further development and traffic generation. It is easy to envisage a Postwick Hub situation developing affecting villages in the Easton-Honingham-Hockering area. I urge everyone reding this to check up on all this information with NCC but to make sure that they receive a written reply and do not rely on verbal statements.

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    GMARTIN

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

  • @Tootyfrooty I don't think many of the people who say no are against a road, I for one wouldn't be against it but if it's going to be built then it needs to be connected at both ends. So I say do it for the right reasons but do it properly @Lynda Edwards I proposed Monorail for the city as it's quick to build, has a very small footprint and is out of the way from any ground level problems like road works and accidents, it can fit into very small spaces and is non polutant where it runs. Outside of Norwich, we still have the remains of the pre Beaching railways, some have been preserved some will need work but could all come back to life.

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    parkeg1

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

  • What we need is a 21st century transport idea - not the tired old idea of building more roads to send more traffic along the narrow roads in north Norwich. We need a light rail system, more buses or trams. This is the future - London has a thriving public transport which attracts people into the city. Norwich's public transport is old fashioned and inadequate - which is the real reason why people are unable to find jobs in Norwich - if you are unemployed financing a car becomes impossible!

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    Lynda Edwards

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

  • christoph, I agree totally. Its the NIMBY attitude that ensures that Norfolk remains a backwater, a place for people to retire to or die or that place people have only ever visited as children for a seaside holiday. No wonder there is such a problem recruiting young, intelligent and ambitious people into the NHS. For example, the fiasco at Watton surgery where patients are being de-registered owing to over subscription can be allieviated by recruiting just 2 extra GPs.Yet they are having problems getting anyone. Its the same with recruiting nursing staff at the N&N and the JPUH. Nobody is interested in coming to Norfolk and I think its largely due to the NIMBY attitude towards progress. Its about time that the good people of Norfolk woke up and realised that this county will always be the poor relation to the rest of the UK until we stop fighting progress.

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    Tootyfrooty

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

  • Surely Eric Pickles is getting fed up with Norfolk NIMBYs by now? Just go ahead and get the job done. At this rate we'll never see any major construction projects in Norfolk.

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    christoph

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

  • I cant see that it will cut congestion-where are the figures for traffic that would be through traffic from say Holt to the southern bypass? Or fakenham to Yarmouth? If most of the traffic is locally generated in the suburban villages and needing to access Norwich then radical improvements to the existing ring road should suffice. An NDR with plain roundabouts, no flyovers and sliproads will be a recipe for queues. A new road from the Fakenham Road along the line of Wood Lane to a new dualled stretch at Honingham and then to the Southern bypass via Easton might be a better use of the money.

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

  • Crazy, I suggest you look at the forecast traffic flow numbers for the roads coming off the NDR into Norwich and you will quickly see that there will be major issues. The only rationale for the current proposed building of the NDR is to create a new small town on the edge of Norwich bit without the benefits of being sustainable on its own. The Beyond Green development strategy document available on the Broadland DC website shows the intention to 'discourage' private car ownership and force people onto public transport which is the only way forecast traffic flows can be met.

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    andy

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

  • We need extra diggers, workers and tarmac to get this road built, not extra hurdles being put in the way of progress.

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    NigelS

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

  • Sorry to those affected by the NDR, but it is needed, my only complaint is that it doesnt link up to the A47 in the RinglandEaston area. Increased congestion is nonsense, it will cut congestion on the ring road.

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    Crazy

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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

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