Critics present case against £148.5m road
09:18 23 July 2014
A proposed £148.5m road to the north of Norwich would be “the biggest piece of environmental destruction yet seen in Norfolk”, it was claimed at a public hearing into the scheme.
Objectors to the Norwich northern distributor road made their views known to a team of planning inspectors at Norwich’s Assembly House.
Norfolk County Council wants to build the 19.5km road from the A47 at Postwick in the east of the city to the A1067 Fakenham Road to the north-west. The council says it will improve journey times, stop rat-running and congestion and boost the economy.
But at yesterday’s hearing, which was preceded by a protest outside the Theatre Street venue, a succession of critics presented their cases against the road.
Among them was Andrew Cawdron, who lives in Thorpe End.
He raised concerns about council claims over noise from the road and said it would “degrade” the quality of life for people in the area.
He said: “My concern is that the evidence presented is sometimes contradictory and is slanted in favour of the NDR, despite some of its own evidence being to the contrary.
“It is difficult to know what to believe, other than that we are on the verge of the biggest piece of environmental destruction yet seen in Norfolk, and I must oppose it.”
Katy Jones, from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, questioned the council’s justification for the road and said the “vast majority” of the public do not want the road. And Denise Carlo, a Green city councillor, speaking on behalf of the Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group, said the road would not reduce traffic, but generate more of it.
The panel of inspectors is dealing with much of the issue through written submissions, but yesterday saw the first two of four open hearings this week. Further hearings, focusing on specific issues, are scheduled for September.
Inspectors have to complete their examination by December and then have three months to make a recommendation.
The transport secretary would then have three months to decide what to do, although there is the power to award an extension.
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