Council set to debate ‘missing link’ on Norwich Northern Distributor Road

Members of the public study plans for the NDR, on display at the Forum. Picture: Denise Bradley

Members of the public study plans for the NDR, on display at the Forum. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2013

County councillors are to be asked to commission a report into the feasibility of linking the planned Norwich Northern Distributor Road to the A47 to the west of the city.

Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors have put forward a motion calling for the study for debate at Norfolk County Council's full council meeting later this month.

The debate over the £148.5m road has been re-ignited in recent weeks as the county council nears the submission of a development consent application for the road.

The current plan is for a 19.5km dual carriageway from the A47 at Postwick (to the east of the city) to the A1067 Fakenham Road (to the north-west) – a scheme awarded £86.5m from the government.

Because the River Wensum is a special area of conservation, initial plans to connect to the A47 to the west were not taken forward because of the costs it would involve to avoid a detrimental impact.

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Council officers have said the currently proposed road stands on its own merits and will ease congestion and boost businesses.

However, the Conservatives made working towards a 'complete' NDR a key pledge in their manifesto for the May elections, while the Liberal Democrats, in a recently published list of their policies, said they were committed to a full-length NDR and called for a scoping report into its feasibility.

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Liberal Democrat councillor Tim East has now put forward a motion on the subject for the full council to debate later this month, due to be seconded by Conservative councillor Shelagh Gurney.

The motion states: 'The long-term ambition for the road must be to construct a distributor road joining the A47 to the west of the city with the A47 to the east.

'A full and complete NDR would be of enormous benefit, becoming a northern bypass for both the city and the county, linking the eastern and western sections of the A47 southern bypass either side of the city and it would create a complete east-west link to the Midlands from Great Yarmouth.'

It will call on the council to commission a report on the feasibility of completing the final section across the Wensum Valley to the A47 southern bypass as soon as possible.

The motion is set to be discussed when the full council meets at County Hall on Monday, September 16.

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