'Just get on with it rather than thinking about seagulls' - councillor's river crossing jibe
PUBLISHED: 11:37 09 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:37 09 March 2019
A councillor has said he is sick of discussing the long-awaited third river crossing for Great Yarmouth and says the council should "just get on with it, rather than thinking about seagulls".
With the final touches being put to the project’s final application, members of the county council’s environment, development and transport committee were updated on the progress of the bid.
They were told the next phase would be to finalise the environmental aspects of the case, before formally submitting the bid to the planning inspectorate by the end of spring.
However, Bev Spratt, Conservative county councillor for West Depwade, said he was keen for the application to be dealt with quicker.
He said: “Everybody seems to be happy with where we are, but I am not. Great Yarmouth is one of the biggest growth areas in Norfolk and we have been talking about building this bridge for the best part of 28 years.
“Frankly, I am sick to death of talking about it. We should be getting on with it now rather than thinking about seagulls.”
However, Tom McCabe, the council’s director of community and environmental services, said the latest stage was imperative to making the case for the crossing as strong as possible.
He said: “We have to do this work as the public enquiry will look at the environmental impact of our case in great deal. This way we can get the approval we need.
“It is therefore important we do this in a methodical way and get it right first time.”
The much-anticipated bridge will create a new crossing over the River Yare from the A47 at the Harfreys Industrial Estate to South Denes Road.
If built, it is hoped the bridge will alleviate traffic woes in the town, which this week was brought to a standstill by a collision on the A47.
It is estimated to come at a cost of around £120m, though government funding of £98m was made available for the project in the Autumn Budget.
Martin Wilby, EDT committee chairman said: “This is a good example of cross party work and a project we are all supportive of.”
With the application likely to be submitted in April, it is hoped the bridge could be completed by 2023 if it is approved.