Family to say farewell to home if £148.5m Northern Distributor Road goes ahead
A family who would lose part of their front garden if the controversial Norwich northern distributor road (NDR) goes ahead look set to have their home bought by the county council – in a package that will cost up to £450,000.
Norfolk county councillors are today due to agree to buy the home of the Scott family in Thorpe End, because the £148.5m road would blight their property.
With 36 square metres of their front garden needed to enable the road to be built, the family served a blight notice on the county council last summer.
The county council, which is waiting for a decision from a panel of planning inspectors on whether the 12.4-mile road can go ahead, accepted that notice – compelling the authority to buy the four bedroom home and its 1.67 acres of grounds.
If the road does go ahead, then the Scott family's home would be directly next to where a bridge is intended to carry the NDR over Plumstead Road and the council would need to take up part of their garden during construction.
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The council's policy and resources committee is due to rubber stamp the deal at a meeting at County Hall today.
In the report, which will go before councillors, Mike Britch, managing director of NPS Property Consultants, said: 'Negotiations with the owners and their agent have provisionally agreed a purchase price of £370,000. In addition, allowable disturbance costs (such as removal costs, post redirection etc), fees and a statutory home loss payment of £37,000 will be payable.
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'The total overall cost to the council of the acquisition is estimated to be in the region of £435,000 to £450,000, depending on the final disturbance costs.'
Once the family has moved out, the county council is considering whether the property could become a site office for the contractors building the NDR.
But, once that is finished, the council would look to sell the property on the open market, with an estimate that the home might fetch a price of between £200,000 and £240.000.
The Scott family were philosophical about having to leave the home they have lived in for almost 15 years and where their three children grew up.
They said they would not have wanted to move, but would not want to live next to the NDR. They said they were keen for the deal to be sealed so they could get on with finding a new home.
Two other homes have been bought under 'blight' notices because of the impact of the road.
A panel of inspectors last year held a series of hearings to consider whether the road, which has received £86.5m of funding from the government, should be given a development consent order.
The final decision will be up to the secretary of state, who has until June to make a decision, although they could eyt award themselves an extension.
What do you think of the northern distributor road? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.