Paying interest on NDR loan will cost half a million every year for next five decades
Archant Norfolk 2018
Paying interest on the loan which allowed the Norwich Northern Distributor Road to be built will cost more than half a million pounds every year for the next 50 years, it has been revealed.
Norfolk County Council has borrowed £26.5m towards the NDR.
And it will cost around £530,000 a year to pay the interest on that over the next five decades, before the council then pays back the lump sum £26.5m it borrowed.
The Department for Transport gave £96.5m to the council, but that was just for the stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the A140 at Norwich Airport.
The council wanted to continue the road, now known as the Broadland Northway, to the A1067.
It secured £10m from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and £40m from developers to do so.
But the council contributed £56.8m. Some came from reserves, but £26.5m was borrowed from the public works loan board at a fixed interest rate of 2pc.
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A council spokesman said: "The council has been able to take advantage of historically low interest rates over recent years, keeping borrowing costs to support the Broadland Northway - a vital piece of infrastructure that will drive economic growth in our county - to a minimum.
"We do not believe we will require any additional borrowing.
"However, if any were needed in the future, the cost would depend on interest rates available at the time."
The figure came to light after a question was submitted to the council by Labour county councillor Terry Jermy.
He said: "Given the huge cuts that we're seeing to council services, it's clear to see how this money could have been better spent if the project had not so massively overspent.
"Cabinet members at Norfolk County Council have repeated time and again that the total cost of building the NDR will not pass the £205m pound mark.
"We now know, as a result of the written question to full council, that this is not entirely the case.
"Whilst the capital build cost may well be that figure, senior Tories have not been entirely clear that, given the money for their overspend had to be borrowed, that additional interest will add millions more to the total cost.
"I am sure many people will be deeply disappointed that Norfolk taxpayers will still be paying for this road in 50 years time."