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Final bill for Norwich Northern Distributor Road could top £200m says council leader - which could mean a £25m overspend

PUBLISHED: 13:54 13 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:09 13 October 2017

Aerial view of the NDR Northern Distributor Road. Sept 2017. Picture: Mike Page

Aerial view of the NDR Northern Distributor Road. Sept 2017. Picture: Mike Page

Copyright www.mike-page.co.uk

The leader of Norfolk County Council has said he believes the final cost of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road will come in as high as £205m - which would mean a potential overspend of £25m.

Cliff Jordan, Conservative leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives. Cliff Jordan, Conservative leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Conservative leader Cliff Jordan said, during an EDP Facebook live interview that his opinion was that the 12.5 mile road, currently being built, will end up costing between £200m and £205m,

The council already said the road’s £179.5m budget had been exceeded, but, because it is in negotiations with contractor Balfour Beatty over extra costs, it would not reveal how much could be added to the bill.

Discussions over the soaring cost took place behind closed doors, with press and public excluded. The council said the public interest in keeping commercially sensitive information under wraps exceeded public interest in releasing it.

But Mr Jordan appeared to suggest up to £25m had been added to the bill during the EDP Facebook Live interview.

He said: “The overspend is something that’s a bit fluid at the moment because there’s claims that come in all the time and the officers are dealing with that now, so an exact figure I couldn’t give.”

However, when asked for a ballpark figure, Mr Jordan said: “I personally think it will be around £200m to £205m, that’s what I think. But that’s what I’ve always thought. That’s the figure I set at the time and I still think that and I’ve no knowledge to tell you that’s where it will be, that’s my personal view.”

On where the extra money for the road, which will stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham Road, would come from, Mr Jordan said: “Well, the road is there, we’ve got to pay for it and there will be various means - going to the government to get some figures and the Local Enterprise Partnership. Honestly, we will have to pay for it because I think it’s a really a good thing for Norfolk to have that.”

The first section of the road, from the A1067 to New Drayton Lane, is due to open next month.

And next week, councillors will be asked to put another £1m for further work to explore the potential for a £160m viaduct to connect the NDR to the A47 to the west of Norwich.

Critics say the idea of a bridge over the Wensum Valley, which is a site of special scientific interest, “defies belief”.

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