Anger as NDR Western Link route added to OS map - before it has go-ahead

Western Link map

The Ordnance Survey application already shows the indicative route of the Western Link - even though the scheme does not yet have funding or planning permission. - Credit: Simon Parkin

The route of the controversial proposed £198m Norwich Western Link road has been included on Ordnance Survey (OS) maps - even though it has yet to get permission or money to build it.

Campaigners against the road, which would link the Northern Distributor Road to the A47 to the west of Norwich, say it is premature for the indicative route of the road to be included.

Fakenham Road where the proposed Western Link route would join just before the roundabout. Picture:

The A1067 Fakenham Road, where the Western Link would join. - Credit: Danielle Booden

The inclusion of the planned route of the road on the OS app was spotted by Prof Dave Evans, from Norwich Friends of the Earth.

He tweeted that the route's inclusion was "very presumptuous".

And Dr Andrew Boswell, former Green city and county councillor, who works as an environmental consultant and is opposed to the scheme, said: "If this is not pre-determining the planning system, what is?"

Andrew Boswell

Andrew Boswell. - Credit: Norwich Green Party

Nobody from OS was available to comment.

However, in 2013, when Dr Boswell queried why the Northern Distributor Road had been included on a map five years before it had opened, OS said the inclusion of planned major routes served "solely as an indication of an intention, as published by the relevant highway authority".

A Norfolk County Council spokesperson said: “A final route cannot be confirmed for the Norwich Western Link, until consultation and planning and funding processes have been completed."

The council is waiting to discover if its business case for the road has been accepted - and if the government will give £168m towards its cost.

The council's own planning committee will make a decision on the proposals for the road, although the final round of consultation ahead of that has been delayed.

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Council leaders say it would boost Norfolk's economy and cut rat-running in places such as Costessey and Weston Longville.

Businesses, including Norwich International Airport, Chantry Place and First buses support it, as do the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and Norfolk Chambers of Commerce.

But it is opposed by the Labour and Green groups at County Hall and groups including Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Norfolk Rivers Trust, the Campaign To Protect Rural England and the Bat Conservation Trust.

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