£19m shake-up for Norwich A47 junction gets government green light

Aerial picture of the proposed site of the Postwick hub. Photo: Mike Page Aerial picture of the proposed site of the Postwick hub. Photo: Mike Page

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
12:51 PM

The government has given the green light to a £19m junction scheme on the outskirts of Norwich - changes which are crucial to the planned Norwich Northern Distributor Road.

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It was announced today that work can start on the Postwick junction to the east of the city, after two secretaries of state rubber-stamped orders which will transform the way drivers join and leave the A47.

A number of slip roads will be closed on and off the A47, to be replaced by new roads and roundabouts. It will also serve the proposed Broadland Gate business park, which developers say could create up to 3,000 jobs.

Council leaders have hailed the decision, following a 129-page report by a planning inspector, as an immediate shot in the arm for the Norfolk economy, saying it will enable a new business park and new homes to be built.

They say a lack of current capacity at the junction has prevented housing development and business expansion plans going ahead.

But the news will be a blow for campaigners who argued against it at a public inquiry held in the summer. Almost 125 people had objected against the scheme, saying it was over-engineered, a waste of money, would cause traffic problems and would lead to communities nearby being swamped with homes.

Planning permission for the junction changes - to create what is known as the Postwick hub - was previously granted by Broadland District Council, but the side road and slip road legal orders needed approval before work could start.

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David Harrison, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for environment, transport, development and waste, said: “This is great news for jobs, housing and the Greater Norwich economy. We will now be moving as quickly as possible to start on site, and I expect that developers whose planning permission depends upon the junction improvement will soon be doing the same.”

But campaigners will be disappointed with the announcement. Stephen Heard, spokesman for Stop Norwich Urbanisation and a parish councillor for Salhouse, said at the public inquiry that the scheme was part of “a headlong rush for development against the needs of society to act responsibly as stewards of the environment for our grandchildren and their children.”

The inspector has requested a number of relatively minor modifications to the order,One modification is that the existing eastbound diverge slip road would remain open to cyclists and pedestrians through the creation of a shared-use path along its length.

The inspector said: “Cyclists and pedestrians currently use the service path over the A47 Viaduct and this proposed shared-use facility would enable cyclists to continue to use the existing A47 eastbound diverge slip road to connect with the existing and proposed cycle network at the Postwick north-west roundabout.”

Government funding for the Postwick Hub has been available since 2009 when £21m was allocated from the Community Infrastructure Fund. The hub scheme includes expansion of the Park & Ride site at Postwick.

The scheme was reviewed by the coalition government and £19m in funding for the junction was confirmed as part of the £86.5m allocation for Norwich Northern Distributor Road.

The junction will serve as the gateway to the NDR - the £148.5m road which will stretch from Postwick in the east to the A1067 at Fakenham Road in the west.

The NDR is subject to a separate application. The Planning Inspectorate will consider that as part of the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project development approval process and the submission was made by the county council this week.

Whether the 19.5km scheme goes ahead depends upon a development consent order being granted and this will be the subject of a public inquiry later this year.

12 comments

  • Has the EDP bothered to ask any cyclists that use this junction? Do they know how dangerous it is during rush hour? A bad face saving decision by a clapped out, bereft coalition of speed daters.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • Isn't it amazing while most of Norfolk's remain nothing more than neglected cart tracks this junction gets the go ahead. Of course this is all being done with our money for the developers and money people who run this country.

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    John L Norton

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • Will somebody explain to me how this is fantastic news for the Norwich economy. Extra housing means an average of two cars per extra house built will be also using the same congested roads that are in existence now, roads we don't really need reminding that are in poor repair. Bear in mind that there is a colossal ongoing maintenance bill for any new roads. Then we have to find the extra capacity needed to service the extra sewerage requirements and then to share our water supplies which seem to run low every year and cause panic. The additional revenue brought in by extra housing and light industry will only suffice to serve those new roads and buildings, I cannot see how this benefits the 'greater Norwich'.

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    grounded

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • An examination of the predicted traffic flows for the NDR shows that apart from the Plumstead Road, there will be no traffic increase of any note on any of the other roads into Norwich that the NDR crosses!! So either the planners do not expect any of the new houses to have cars, they will all use public transport or the inhabitants will not come into Norwich? However we can all expect heavy air pollution from over flying pigs. Such is progress.

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    andy

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • The main beneficiary will be the developers, Ifield Estates Ltd, joint developers of Broadland Gate and Postwick Hub, with Norfolk CC. It's unlikely that Ifield's 2 company directors will be doing much building work at Postwick. Look at their Company House records. Ifield was set up as a speculative development company and doesn't have a track record in developing sites. Having got planning permission and £19million public funding for Postwick Hub, expect them to sell on planning permission in the very near future.

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    I.T. Stinks

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • I am absolutely furious this has been pushed through in a most undemocratic manner! I did try to attend the Postwick Hub Enquiry but found it a waste of time. It was obvious the road lobby had persuaded the authorities to do this ridiculous scheme from the beginning! We weren't allowed to say anything at the meeting - just sit there. We were given no guidance where to sit to show our allegiance one way or other. Fortunately, I knew other sensible people against this waste of money so sat with them. If jobs are being moved to Broadland Business Park how are job-seekers going to obtain jobs there if they cannot afford to run cars? Employers don't take on people who have to rely on pub lic transport in such outlying areas so where are people supposed to work? If the authorities are so pro-road why are the roads in even city areas in such an appalling condition?

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    Lynda Edwards

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • The article states that almost 125 people objected to the scheme. Almost 125? Does that mean fewer than 125? There are 895000 people living in Norfolk and only 125 object.Does that mean that the other 894875 don't object? Who knows? Anyway when only 0.13% object to something there probably isn't really any serious objection, so why do these people get so much attention?

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    Abraham

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • I'm very much in favour of improving roads, especially around Norfolk but these plans are absolutely terrible. All traffic leaving the A47 will have to either queue up at the new park and ride traffic lights or navigate 5 roundabouts to get to where the current slip road will take you... Progress(!) Hopefully they haven't shelved the plans to put in a railway station at the park and ride which would actually improve traffic into the city and speed up commutes.

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    Adam Francis

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • Ingo: As cyclists don't pay road tax they have no vote.....sorry.

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    KeithS

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

  • Another story with many censored comments, including mine.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • KeithS - drivers & motorcyclists don't pay "road tax" either - that was scrapped by Winston Churchill. You may be referring to "Vehicle Excise Duty", which is a tax on vehicles according to pollution levels. Under current rules band A vehicles (which includes all electric cars) pay no VED either, so do they have a vote? Road maintenance is paid out of general taxation, so any person with taxable income is paying for the roads, whether they use them or not. So, do the unemployed have a vote, as they don't contribute to general taxation and therefore don't pay for the roads?

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    So_Many_Haters!

    Friday, January 10, 2014

  • The EDP, just as Radio Norfolk this morning, can not find a single haulier who will vow to use the NDR to go all around Norwich to reach the A47 and then to proceed to Kings Lynn and further, not a single one, so the economic argum,ent of the NCC is floored. The amount of housing planned is unsustainable, because our NNUH is full, so why is there no hospital planned to the east? All those northern commuters who cycle into Norwich on a daily basis will be stifled, not aided by this sad proposal, a pigs ear.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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