Call to scrap �21m NDR junction plan

Developers hoping to expand a business park on the edge of Norwich have urged council bosses to abandon a �21m junction which would pave the way for the controversial Northern Distributor Road.

Lothbury Property Trust, which owns Broadland Business Park, says it is 'inappropriate' to spend so much on the so-called Postwick Hub, when their �2m scheme is a cheaper way to improve the junction with the A47 at Postwick.

The trust wants to expand the business park and build 600 homes at Brook Farm, north of Dussindale Park.

But rival developers Ifield Estates are working with Norfolk County Council on a scheme which would see a new business park, Broadland Gate, built nearby.

That scheme would see the creation of the Postwick Hub, effectively the first phase of the Norwich northern bypass.

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The government has previously earmarked �21m towards that project, although that money has yet to be released.

But Lothbury, which successfully launched a legal challenge which led to the quashing of Broadland District Council's approval for the Broadland Gate and Postwick hub scheme, says it can improve the junction for a fraction of the price.

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They say closing the westbound slip road to the A47 near the park and ride site and moving it east of the existing junction, to join the A47 further east, would go a long way, in combination with traffic light controls, to solving traffic issues.

Simon Radford, Lothbury's chief executive, said: 'This �2m scheme is affordable, appropriate and sensible for the current and predicted traffic flows.

'At �21m, we believe that the county council's proposed Postwick Hub scheme is both far too expensive and wholly inappropriate, especially so in the current economic climate in which large scale public funded schemes are under intense scrutiny.'

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said the council intended next month to submit a refined application to the Department of Transport for government support for the Postwick Hub and the Norwich Northern Distributor Road.

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