December 12 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 27, 2013
A start date has been fixed for work to begin on the controversial northern distributor route round Norwich - even though the road has yet to get permission.
Construction will commence on the £148.5m road on or before April 1, 2015, members of Norfolk County Council’s environment, transport and development overview and scrutiny panel decided yesterday. And the road should be open to the public in 2017.
County councillor for Drayton and Horsford division, Tony Adams proposed that a definite start date be fixed, after panel members were told by officers during the meeting that work on the road would start in spring 2015. He said: “While it’s good news that work on the road will start in spring 2015, I propose that we set a definite start time.”
Afterwards, John Birchall, a spokesman for the county council, said that while the councillors’ decision to set a date was “symbolic”, it showed their desire to get the road up and running as soon as possible.
He said that while the council was working towards as early a start date on the road as possible, other influences and factors could affect the actual date the first spade was put in the ground to commence the work.
Panel members also heard yesterday that the NDR consultation has been extended for specific consultees including some landowners.
Mr Birchall said it was not a general extension of the public consultation, which ended on September 20, and the new deadlines were specific to these consultees only and would close by mid-October.
At the end of the consultation, a report will be brought to Cabinet for approval to submit the development consent application to the Planning Inspectorate, using the national significant infrastructure project development consent route.
The NDR plan is for a 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 that road and has said the scheme is of “national significance”.
That proposal was adopted by the county council in September 2005 and came about after a number of routes were considered back in the early 2000s.
Officers at the county council have said the NDR will ease congestion and bring an economic shot in the arm for the county, but campaigners have dubbed it a road to nowhere.
They say it will lead to swathes of the countryside being concreted over, with homes springing up along the road’s route.