Scores of landowners still waiting for NDR payments with £6.5m outstanding
PUBLISHED: 10:47 29 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:47 29 July 2019
Archant Norfolk 2018
Scores of landowners are still waiting to be paid for land bought up by the council during the building of the Northern Distributor Road - with more than £6m owed.
Norfolk County Council made compulsory purchase orders on several hectares of land to build the £205m road - but despite it having been open to traffic for more than a year, many are yet to be paid.
A Freedom of Information request has revealed that County Hall has around £6.5m in outstanding payments for plots of land, split between more than 80 different landowners.
While the payments fall within the £205m budget for the road, now officially named the Broadland Northway, the figures contribute to around £7.5m overall in outstanding payments.
But a Norfolk County Council spokesman said the bill included some payments that have already been made.
Among those waiting to be fully compensated is 63-year-old Hevingham farmer Richard Pointer, who parted with 21 acres of agricultural land at St Faith's to make way for the road.
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And he said while he had received some payment, he and the council were "poles apart" in their valuation of the land and around seven acres which had gone unused were yet to be returned to him.
He said: "I have been trying to arrange meetings with them for well over a year, but feel like I am getting ignored.
"It is incredibly frustrating - you just cannot talk to them."
A county council spokesman said: "It would not be appropriate for us to comment on ongoing land valuation discussions, but we are hopeful of bringing matters to a satisfactory conclusion."
Addressing the outstanding payments, the spokesman added: "More than 100 separate land interests have been affected by the project and we have legally completed more than a third so far.
"Reasons for delays include continued negotiations with some landowners' surveyors, the council awaiting compensation claims in order for negotiations to commence and, in a quarter of cases, the final figure has been agreed but formal legal transfer has yet to be completed."
It comes after it was revealed that the overall compensation bill for the road has hit £23m, with warnings of further claims on the way.