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More than 60 deals over land needed for the NDR are still not complete

PUBLISHED: 13:30 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:35 18 November 2019

More than 60 deals over land which was needed to build the NDR have yet to be completed. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

More than 60 deals over land which was needed to build the NDR have yet to be completed. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

More than 60 deals for land which Norfolk County Council needed so the Norwich Northern Distributor Road could be built have still not been finalised.

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways and infrastructure. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways and infrastructure. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Officers at County Hall have confirmed that there are still some costs relating to land they needed to buy or compulsorily purchase so the 12.5 mile road could be built.

There were more than 80 different landowners affected by the route of the road, with the council serving compulsory purchase orders on several hectares of land.

With the road having now been fully open for more than a year, 35 deals for land have been completed. But there are a further 64 which have yet to be concluded.

Of those, 21 cases are with legal teams, 25 are still under negotiation and five have had terms agreed but are awaiting final confirmation.

Steve Morphew, leader of the Labour group at Norfolk County Council and chairman of the scrutiny committee. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSteve Morphew, leader of the Labour group at Norfolk County Council and chairman of the scrutiny committee. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And, in 13 cases, negotiations between landowners and the county council have not even begun.

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However, the council says, even allowing for those costs, they are confident the final cost for the road, now known as the Broadland Northway, will come in at under £205m - although that is above the £148.5m estimated in 2013.

Martin Wilby, the council's cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: "It would be great to think we could complete all the negotiations, but I fully understand how delicate some of them are.

"We have to respect landowners in these negotiations and, hopefully, complete them as soon as possible."

The NDR will come under the spotlight at a meeting of the county council's scrutiny committee tomorrow (Tuesday, November 19).

Committee chairman Steve Morphew had invited readers of this newspaper to suggest questions to be posed at that meeting - which have been passed on to him.

Mr Morphew said: "I expected that this would stir up some public interest, because this road is something that people are talking about.

"I am grateful to those who have taken the opportunity to suggest questions. We will ensure all the main areas are covered and, if we do not get answers at the meeting, we will continue to ask them until we do."

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