High Court threat over transport plan, which includes Western Link

Western Link protest

Campaigners against the Western Link - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The chances of the Norwich Western Link road scheme becoming embroiled in a High Court legal challenge have intensified.

Lawyers for a campaigner against the route are threatening a wider legal challenge to Norfolk County Council's transport blueprint, which includes the controversial project.

The law firm, Leigh Day, has written to County Hall warning that Andrew Boswell, former Green county and city councillor, is on the brink of seeking a judicial review over the Local Transport Plan.

That plan is the council's vision, for up to 2036, to improve highways, encourage walking, cycling, bus and rail use and to deliver major projects like the Western Link and Long Stratton Bypass.

Norwich NDR Western Link revised route

The Western Link is part of the Local Transport Plan - Credit: Norfolk County Council

The strategy was adopted last year, but consultation recently took place over its implementation plan - how the council plans to put it in place.

Critics had previously sent the council a letter, warning of a potential legal challenge - and that has now been stepped up with a follow-up letter.

In it, the London-based solicitors "propose a claim by way of judicial review in respect of the decision by the council to consult in the manner in which it did" over the Local Transport Plan.

A judicial review is where a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.

Norfolk County Council recently lost judicial reviews over charging for adult social care and for its official response over plans for farm machinery company Ben Burgess to move to Swainsthorpe.

Most Read

In the letter, lawyers say the local transport plan contained no quantification and assessment of the carbon emissions it would give rise to - or how to reduce them and that it was "unlawful" to promote it in two stages - the plan and the implementation plan.

Andrew Boswell

Former city and county councillor Andrew Boswell. - Credit: Norwich Green Party

Lawyers said Mr Boswell is prepared to bring a claim for judicial review, unless the council reviews and re-consults on the plan.

A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said: “We have received the letter before action from Leigh Day solicitors and will be responding in due course.”

Mr Boswell was not available for comment, but David Pett, from the Stop Wensum Link group, said: "The group is fully supportive of the legal steps taken to hold the council to account on its intention to introduce a transport plan that, if adopted as drawn, would almost certainly leave Norfolk stranded in the dark age for many years to come."