Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, has granted Development Consent for the 20km dual carriageway, with the letter sent to Norfolk County Council today stating that there is a compelling case in the public interest for authorising the NDR project.
Consent is subject to there being no legal challenge in the next six weeks, or any such challenge being cleared by the courts
The Secretary of State’s backing for this key ‘Transport for Norwich’ project endorses the case made by Norfolk County Council at the Planning Inspectorate’s detailed public examination. The planned new road is designed to tackle existing and future travel and transport problems for a large part of Norwich, Broadland and North Norfolk, boost business and the economy, serve new housing and employment areas, and provide the opportunity for further sustainable transport improvements in and around the city.
“We will now be pressing the Government to deliver on its commitments to invest over £300m in improving the A47, and to make a Norwich in 90 minutes rail service a reality on the London mainline. The need to dual the Acle Straight should be a top priority.”
Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP said:
“The Government continues to recognise our ambitions to transform Norfolk and Suffolk into an Eastern Economic Powerhouse. These ambitions are underpinned by a mobile and accessible economy. Today we are one step closer to achieving those goals.
With the final dualling of the A11, promised improvements to the A47 and the Great Eastern Main Line, it will soon be easier than ever for businesses, tourists and commuters to access Norfolk and Suffolk and all they have to offer. The NNDR can only boost those opportunities, bringing a £1.3bn economic benefit to Norfolk, cost and time savings for businesses, more efficient trading and further prosperity, growth and jobs for the city and surrounding areas.”
Cllr Andrew Proctor, Leader, Broadland District Council, said:
“The whole of the NDR route is in Broadland which is why the council appreciates how important it is in fulfilling our ambition for more jobs, more homes and more opportunities for everyone in Broadland.
“Alongside the major economic advantages to business growth, our support for the road has always been to bring direct benefits to the people living in Broadland which is why we want to see work start as soon as possible.
“There will be faster, more reliable journey times for our residents , sites for new homes will become more viable, access will be improved to Broadland Business Park and ultimately it will facilitate better public transport that will relieve traffic congestion to the east and north of Norwich.”
Edward Olley of Ifield Estates said ‘The improved transport on a macro scale will ensure critical infrastructure is delivered. On a micro scale it will make Ifield Estates’ Broadland Gate one of the most accessible and prominent business destinations in the region, being on the apex of the southern bypass and the new NNDR.
Cllr Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “This is great news. The NDR is a key part of the overall transport strategy for Greater Norwich and will support the delivery of more homes and jobs. I look forward to working with the county council on the delivery of the road alongside the other aspects of a balanced strategy, such as measures to improve access to the city centre and promote cycling, walking and public transport.”
Start of work also depends upon the Government releasing funds from the £67.5m allocated to build the dual carriageway from Postwick to the A140 at Norwich International Airport. This is the remaining national allocation from £86.5m earmarked for the NDR and the Postwick Hub scheme. The Government has already released £19m towards the £19.7m construction cost of the A47 Postwick junction improvement. The overall cost of the project, including Postwick Hub, has been estimated to be £148.55m, based on early 2013 construction cost estimates.
The County Council will underwrite most of the cost of continuing the NDR to the A1067 Fakenham road, supported by an allocation of up to £40m from the Community Infrastructure Levy on new development in the Greater Norwich area.