Petition against Norwich NDR Western Link signed by more than a thousand people
PUBLISHED: 16:29 29 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:29 29 September 2019
More than a thousand people have signed a petition calling on Norfolk County Council to halt its plans for the mooted Western Link for the Norwich Northern Distributor Road.
The petition was set up by Norwich solicitor David Pett, who says the council needs to stop and think before building a road which he says would be hugely damaging.
The Conservative-controlled county council's cabinet selected its preferred route for the road, which would connect the NDR to the A47 in August.
They went for the £153m pption C - a 3.9-mile route from the A1067, running halfway between Weston Longville and Ringland and linking to the A47 at a new junction at Wood Lane, near Honingham. It would need a 720-metre viaduct over the River Wensum.
Mr Pett, who lives in Ringland and is director of MJP Conveyancing in Thorpe Road, said he had started the change.org petition after growing concerned at the information the council was putting out about the road - and the speed of the process.
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He said: "It's really saying to the council, lets pause and let the public have the full information about it. Let's stop the plans as they are at the moment and look at it."
Mr Pett said he did not believe the road, which the council has yet to secure funding for, would relieve congestion on village roads.
He said it would "devastate" the Wensum Valley, which he described as a "jewel in the Norfolk countryside".
The Labour group at Norfolk County Council is opposing the road, as is the Wensum Valley Alliance.
But the link has been backed by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, fire chiefs and businesses such as Norwich Airport.
The council says consultation showed support for the road and says it will cut congestion, has a high cost-to-benefit ratio and environmental impacts would be limited.
Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport at Norfolk County Council previously said: "We are absolutely committed to creating this road in an environmentally responsible way and we're aiming to achieve biodiversity net gain through its design by creating new habitats for wildlife and including features such as green bridges."