The deadline for people to have their say over the highly controversial Norwich Western Link has been extended because of the sheer scale of information connected within the plans.

Pressure from the public has prompted Norfolk County Council to provide a further month for people to take part in the planning process consultation for the £274m scheme.

The deadline was supposed to be Thursday, July 18, but has been extended to Monday, August 19 after County Hall received "a number of requests" for extra time.

Campaigners against the Norwich Western LinkCampaigners against the Norwich Western Link (Image: Archant 2021)

The council agreed to the extension because of the amount of information and documents connected to the application for the road, which would connect the Northern Distributor Road to the A47 near Honingham, west of Norwich.

There are about 700 documents included in the council's application to its own planning committee, covering matters such as the road's impact on wildlife, air quality, drainage and highways issues.

Campaign group Stop The Wensum Link had previously criticised the five-week window for responses to be lodged, which comes in the middle of the general election campaigning period.

The 3.9-mile road, which includes a viaduct over the Wensum Valley, has long been a priority for Conservative-controlled County Hall.

The council says it will stop rat-running in villages, shave time off journeys, help businesses and bring an economic boost.

A visualisation of the Norwich Western LinkA visualisation of the Norwich Western Link (Image: Norfolk County Council)

But critics say the scheme's costs are spiralling and that it will harm the environment, including rare barbastelle bats on its route.

Natural England told the council that, based on the information the authority has provided so far, it would be unlikely to award a licence needed to do anything which might disturb or harm the bats.

But the council has pressed ahead with lodging plans for the road with its own planning committee, although there are calls for a planning inspector to take the decision out of the hands of councillors.

READ MORE: Environmental groups urge opposition to Norwich Western Link

The Department for Transport has agreed to contribute £213m towards the road's bill.

County Hall leaders hoped the government would increase that to £251m, using money 'saved' by cancelling the northern leg of the HS2 rail route.

But the government failed to confirm any extra cash before the General Election was called.

People can comment on the application via