Call for council to ditch Norfolk A47 junction change plan after half a million cost revealed
More than half a million pounds has been spent by Norfolk County Council to prepare for a public inquiry into a controversial road scheme on the edge of Norwich, it has emerged.
The county council wants to create the Postwick Hub - a new interchange which officers say is needed to serve the proposed Broadland Gate business park - but which is also seen as the gateway for the proposed �141.5m northern bypass, known as the Norwich Distributor Road.
A public inquiry into the Postwick Hub scheme, which would see major changes to the junction on the A47 to the east of Norwich, was due to be held next week.
But the Highways Agency announced earlier this month that the inquiry had been suspended, because a revised traffic assessment on the impact of the changes had yet to be finalised.
Richard Bearman, leader of the Green group at Norfolk County Council, yesterday asked the authority to reveal what it had spent so far on getting ready for that inquiry.
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Graham Plant, cabinet member for planning and transportation, said the tally, including staff costs, Highways Agency fees, legal fees, consultant fees and public notices, totted up to �510,000.
After learning of the cost at yesterday's county council cabinet meeting, Mr Bearman urged the council to abandon the Postwick Hub plan.
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He said: 'Will you accept that this junction is seriously over-engineered and stop the council spending excessive amounts of money on something which is not wanted or needed by local people?'
But Mr Plant insisted the council was committed to the project, which he said was an 'important element' of the Norwich Area Transport Strategy and would improve access in Norfolk.
He said: 'It is exactly the sort of project we need to kickstart the local economy and it is something that we will be chasing up.'
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