Decision on Norwich Northern Distributor Road could be made within a year

Members of the public study the latest plans for the NDR, on display at the Forum. Picture: Denise Bradley Members of the public study the latest plans for the NDR, on display at the Forum. Picture: Denise Bradley

Monday, February 24, 2014
4:55 PM

A decision on whether to allow the controversial Norwich Northern Distributor Road to go ahead could be made within 12 months, the planning inspectorate has revealed.

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Norfolk County Council wants to build the £148.5m, 19.5km dual carriageway road from the A47 at Postwick to the east of the city to the A1067 Fakenham Road to the northwest.

The government has agreed to contribute £86.5m towards the cost and has said the scheme is of “national significance”, which has fast-tracked it through the planning system.

That means the Planning Inspectorate will weigh up evidence before making a recommendation on whether to grant a development consent order.

Today, the Planning Inspectorate held a drop-in event at Dragon Hall in Norwich, where they offered advice to people who want to have their say over the scheme.

And Nicholas Coombes, from the Planning Inspectorate said a decision on whether to grant the order for the road could be made at about this time next year.

He said, after a six-month examination period, which is likely to start in May or June and run until October or November, the examining authority, which could be one inspector or a panel of inspectors, would have three months to make a recommendation.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin will then have three months to consider their recommendation and make a final decision.

Mr Coombes said: “We might expect a final decision about a year from now - possibly February or March next year.”

But he added: “The secretary of state is able to award himself an extension of time if he wants to.”

The audience at Dragon Hall heard that the process for the examination of the scheme will mainly be dealt with through written submissions.

But there are likely to be public hearings on specific issues and ‘interested parties’ can request what are known as open floor hearings to air their concerns.

Norwich city councillor Denise Carlo, from the Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group said she was concerned about the inquiry relying so much on written documentation, after campaigners accused the county council of ‘losing’ their submissions at an earlier stage and not submitting them to the Planning Inspectorate.

Mr Coombes said people would know their submissions had been received because they would be published on the Planning Inspectorate project website.

The council says the NDR will bring a huge economic boost and connected improvements, such as a rapid bus transit in Norwich.

But critics say it will lead to rat-running and say the homes which will spring up around it will concrete over swathes of the countryside.

People can register as interested parties at http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/eastern/norwich -northern-distributor-road-ndr/

In September last year, county councillors fixed a start date for work to begin on the controversial northern distributor route round Norwich - even though the road has yet to get permission.

The council’s environment, transport and development overview and scrutiny panel said work would start on or before April 1, 2015, with the road open to the public in 2017.

• What do you think of the NDR? Write, including full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

18 comments

  • I do find it amazing that the same people moaning about the council spending thousands of pounds on Surveys and Studies have all the answers, and for free! I appreciate we are all entitled to our opinions but have to accept that the homework has been done (At great cost) and this will be good for a major part of Norwich and Norfolk beyond. Yes it would be better for a complete orbital road but this is the best we can have for now. It may take away some rat runs and indeed create some more but we need roads to keep us car lovers happy. I clearly remember the same comments for the Southern bypass - seriously, where would we be without that?

    Report this comment

    Jonno65

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Fingers crossed this will happen and it will be built as soon as possible

    Report this comment

    Odget

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Anyone with half a brain cell realises that this road is necessary and will be built. Yes, it is a shame it will not initially connect to the A47 at Longwater but it is a start. It is time that the bearded, ponytailed car haters to just shut up and stop wasting the tax payers money with further surveys, consultations and ‘drop in events’ – Just get on and build it!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • This dead end road will only add to the current congestion at the boundary junction. And turn hellesdon into a rat run for HGVs.. Full circuit or nothing.

    Report this comment

    donny umbro

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • It is a real brain wave to have the NDR. The NDR is long overdue. It was in 1992 that the south of the city of Norwich was bypassed. But in 1992 all was not yet done when the bypass was started but not finished. It will make driving so much easier when the NDR gets completed also there will be less traffic on the side roads in the north of the city

    Report this comment

    Edward Watson

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • It's obvious what's going to happen here, yes it's going top be pushed through come what may, otherwise why would this daft bit part road ever been given the status of national significance when clearly it's nothing of the sort? Who are they trying to fool?

    Report this comment

    Unemployed and Luvin it.

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • It happened with the Inner Link Road,and its happening again

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • I do find it amazing that the same people moaning about the council spending thousands of pounds on Surveys and Studies have all the answers, and for free! I appreciate we are all entitled to our opinions but have to accept that the homework has been done (At great cost) and this will be good for a major part of Norwich and Norfolk beyond. Yes it would be better for a complete orbital road but this is the best we can have for now. It may take away some rat runs and indeed create some more but we need roads to keep us car lovers happy. I clearly remember the same comments for the Southern bypass - seriously, where would we be without that?

    Report this comment

    Jonno65

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • They have been talking about this since at least the 1960s. I wish they would make their minds up.

    Report this comment

    Disgusted of Norwich South

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • They are already chopping down trees at Postwick. Its already been sealed and stamped. Why bother with all this messing about.

    Report this comment

    Tone the moan

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • At least no pot holes!! (for now....). So where DOES the money come from exactly...when everything else is doomed....no money for road repairs ....but suddenly pots of it for something not wantedneeded..... how does that work?.

    Report this comment

    FredJ

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Of course it has already been decided, this is nothing more than a paper exercise to pacify the objectors. The property developer donors who help fund the major parties have said they want this and it will be done whatever and of course financial incentives are being offered all the way down the line and the general public can go to ell as always.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • The "DECISION" has been made already !

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • This route is utter madness, traffic pouring off the road to nowhere dual carriageway landing on the Fakenham road, which already has frequent bunching of 20-30-40 plus cars - I use it daily and it's hopeless when you find yourself behind a truck doing 35mph. Then of course the other problem, as the road to nowhere, isn't joined up to the rest of the supposedly circular road. LOL !!! Actually joining the stupidly designed road will be a feat ! It would be funny if it wasn't so damn serious! What an absolute serious waste of money, a road dreamt up by someone who has no idea and doesn't care about how public money is spent. Absolutely useless road which doesn't even complete a circle. The mind boggles that such stupidity exists in 2014 !

    Report this comment

    Stop Press

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • I do find it amazing that the same people moaning about the council spending thousands of pounds on Surveys and Studies have all the answers, and for free! I appreciate we are all entitled to our opinions but have to accept that the homework has been done (At great cost) and this will be good for a major part of Norwich and Norfolk beyond. Yes it would be better for a complete orbital road but this is the best we can have for now. It may take away some rat runs and indeed create some more but we need roads to keep us car lovers happy. I clearly remember the same comments for the Southern bypass - seriously, where would we be without that?

    Report this comment

    Jonno65

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • I do find it amazing that the same people moaning about the council spending thousands of pounds on Surveys and Studies have all the answers, and for free! I appreciate we are all entitled to our opinions but have to accept that the homework has been done (At great cost) and this will be good for a major part of Norwich and Norfolk beyond. Yes it would be better for a complete orbital road but this is the best we can have for now. It may take away some rat runs and indeed create some more but we need roads to keep us car lovers happy. I clearly remember the same comments for the Southern bypass - seriously, where would we be without that?

    Report this comment

    Jonno65

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Albert is right, this will happen if we like it or not, just the same as all the other road changes they make. They are wasting our money doing yet another public viewing, those who own the land on the inside will want it so they can make loads of money, but you can bet it won't give what it claims to the rest of us. A pointless road to nowhere unless it's joined up at both ends.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Has anyone seen the Government's National Infrastructure Plan published last December? Take a look - the NDR is listed as one of the Gov's top Infrastructure Investment Priorities, along with new nuclear power stations. The Gov wants to build the NDR as a national route it says to cater for a predicted 40% traffic increase and national economic development! What will be the effect on local roads and communities? The County Council is creating a monster!

    Report this comment

    I.T. Stinks

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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

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