From Western Link to windfarms: Five major projects for Norfolk in 2022

How the Long Stratton bypass could look, with a footbridge in the distance

How the Long Stratton bypass could look - Credit: Norfolk Homes

As communities across the region continue to grow, major developments aim to bring better connection and power to Norfolk in the coming years. 

Here are five major projects that could move significantly forward in 2022. 

Could Boris Johnson's 'Project Speed' accellerate the dualling of the A47? Pic: Highways England.

Could Boris Johnson's 'Project Speed' accellerate the dualling of the A47? Pic: Highways England. - Credit: Highways England

Dualling the A47 

Dualling three sections of the A47 has been a long-term ambition of Norfolk County Council, National Highways and various other organisations  and despite improvements being agreed in 2014, work has yet to start. 

Consultation on elements of the scheme finished earlier this month and more are expected to be held in January and February. 

The £300m plans include proposals to dual sections of the road between North Tuddenham and Easton and from Blofield to North Burlingham. 

It also includes proposed changes to Thickthorn roundabout, on the edge of Norwich. 

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Hearings about the North Tuddenham to Easton scheme will take place on Wednesday, January 5 and Thursday, January 6. 

Hearings about the Thickthorn scheme - which would include a new slip road off the A11 - will start on Monday, January 31 and continue each day to Thursday, February 3. 

An artist's impression of the Hall Lane bridge

An artist's impression of the Hall Lane bridge - Credit: Norfolk Homes

Long Stratton bypass 

After almost a century of debate, the future of the Long Stratton bypass finally looks secured. 

In July, the government committed more than £26m of funding towards the building of a new bypass for the A140, meaning traffic will no longer have to go through the centre of Long Stratton. 

The bypass will be a single carriageway of just under 4km, leaving the existing A140 at Church Lane before re-joining just south of Oakside Farm.  

A planning application is expected to go before the planning committee early next year. 

The target date for work to start on construction is midway through 2023, with the road open to traffic before the end of 2024 - subject to planning approval.  

Fakenham Road where the proposed Western Link route would join just before the roundabout. Picture:

Fakenham Road where the proposed Western Link route would join just before the roundabout. Picture: Daielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The Norwich Western Link 

The controversial road expansion still looks set to progress to the planning committee early next year despite some recent hiccups. 

Norfolk County Council wants to build the 3.8-mile road to connect the A1067 Fakenham Road and the Northern Distributor Road to the A47 to the west of Norwich. 

But the final round of consultation due to take place in the autumn has not happened because the results of ecological surveys have yet to be fully analysed. 

Opponents of the £198m road hope it could spell problems for the controversial scheme. 

The council said it was too soon to say if it would delay the planning submission. 

An application is due to be lodged with County Hall's own planning committee early next year. 

Broadland Business Park. Picture: Mike Page

Broadland Business Park. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

New railway station 

Hopes for a new £20m railway station on the edge of Norwich were rekindled earlier this year. 

In 2016, Broadland District Council explored the idea of a new station at the Broadland Business Park. 

And despite feasibility studies showing a strong business case the plans stalled. 

In December the plans were reborn at county hall, with a further feasibility study set to be carried out in 2022. 

Depending on that study, the plans would be developed over three to five years and finally construction - at a potential cost of £20m - from 2028. 

The wind turbine is a landmark for drivers on the A47 (photo: Ian Burt)

A Norfolk wind turbine - Credit: IAN BURT

Windfarms

As the country makes a move away from polluting sources of energy generation, Norfolk is set to be the home of a new large wind farm 50 miles off the coast. 

Swedish energy giant Vattenfall was granted a development consent for its Norfolk Boreas wind farm on Friday, December 11. 

Between next year and 2023 pre-construction work, ongoing detailed design plans and procurement processes will take place on the scheme which will consist of between 90 and 156 turbines. 

Between 2023 and 2025 onshore works will take place on the project, which when completed overall will see a 40-mile cable route stretching from north Norfolk's Happisburgh to an expanded substation at Necton, near Swaffham. 

The next stage would be for offshore work to start in the mid to late 2020s with the first power being generated in that period. 

A decision on a second major project,  Vattenfall's Norfolk Vanguard wind farm, has yet to be made.