Norwich air museum's threat from Northern Distributor Road
Archant © 2008
A local museum is facing an uncertain future as the likelihood of the Northern Distributor Road (NDR) being built increases.
The £111m NDR received a major boost with £86.5m in government grant just before Christmas.
Plans envisage work starting on the Postwick hub at the eastern end of the new road within the next 12 months with the rest being rolled out over the next five years.
The City of Norwich Aviation Museum, at Horsham St Faith and skirting the back of Norwich International airport’s grounds, is in the way of the major new road and where it would join the A140 Cromer road. The planned route of the NDR goes straight across its site.
And now the museum – which was founded in the 1970s and features displays from RAF Coltishall and the Dambusters raid, has Harrier, Jaguar and Vulcan planes on show and showcases Norfolk in the second world war – is having to assess what the future holds in store.
Nancy Poskett-Taylor, administrator at the museum, said: “I gather it would come right over where our outside display area currently is, where the aircraft stand.
“In the past few years we have been in contact with the county council and Derek Waters, our chairman, has had preliminary talks for a number of years. But with the funding for the road in December it is looking more likely now,” she explained.
“Obviously if we don’t get relocated, then I don’t know what would happen. It could mean we would have to close.”
She said the key for the museum, however, was that if it did have to relocate, it needed to be south of the NDR to ensure it was not cut off from Norwich airport.
Mrs Poskett-Taylor, 51, from Taverham, added: “It would be really bad for us if we were severed from the airport because people come here and want to be able to see the active airfield as well.
“Our chairman has said that we would lose the ambience and we want the flexibility to have aircraft fly in to us, like our Nimrod did when it flew into the airport and was then towed across to us.”
The current funding for the NDR would see the road stretch from the A47 at Postwick west to the A140 but Norfolk County Council is still hoping to extend the road further, past Thorpe Marriott, to join the A1067 Fakenham road.
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