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Long Stratton Bypass recommended to progress

Norfolk County Council, 25 August 2022 00:00

A report to go before members of Norfolk County Council's Cabinet next month highlights the progress being made to deliver a much-needed bypass for Long Stratton and sets out the way forward for the project.

Councillors will be asked to delegate authority to allow Side Road Orders and the necessary land agreements to be progressed and procurement arrangements for finding a contractor put in place. Actions which will enable the bypass to be constructed without delay as soon as all statutory processes can be met.

Norfolk County Council is working in collaboration with developer Norfolk Homes Ltd/Norfolk Land Ltd to bring forward proposals for the long-awaited bypass, vital to wider development plans for the area, which have seen planning permission halted with South Norfolk Council following the issue of new guidance from Natural England. This requires planning authorities to seek additional mitigation proposals in all planning applications in respect of nutrient neutrality to avoid impacts to special areas of conservation (SAC).

Latest cost projections estimate the impact of unforeseen delays caused by the planning process, being led by the developer, combined with ongoing national and worldwide impacts linked to inflation, such as the pandemic and more recently the war in Ukraine, will see the likely cost of delivering the bypass rise by £8.789m to £46.232m.

The original scheme cost was fully funded with a government contribution of £26.2m already secured from the Department for Transport. The council will continue to explore all sources of infrastructure funding to close the gap and a revised breakdown of funding contributions will be included in the Full Business Case that will be submitted for approval by government when all statutory approval processes are completed.

Councillor Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: "Delivery of the long awaited and much needed Long Stratton Bypass remains a key infrastructure priority for Norfolk County Council, which will deliver jobs and important economic growth across our whole region and make a real difference to people's lives, particularly for residents in the town itself.

"The issues we face are not unique to our County. The impact of planning delays and inflation cost pressures are being felt across the whole country and beyond, particularly in the construction sector and are broadly inline with the increases we have seen elsewhere.

"We remain fully committed to overcoming these obstacles and are seeking to put ourselves in the strongest position possible to move forward at pace as soon as we are able to make this project a reality for the people of Norfolk".

Archaeological investigations are already underway on site and an updated communication from the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs issued last month provided further clarity and support to both applicants and Local Planning Authorities to ensure issues arising from nutrient neutrality can be fully addressed.

Assuming all necessary approvals are completed in time construction could commence in early 2024, with the new road open before the end of 2025.

The proposed new A140 bypass will be a single carriageway road that will provide a new junction at Church Lane to the north, extending from this junction on the east side of Long Stratton in a southerly direction for approximately 3.9km, where it will re-join the existing A140 just south of Oakside farm.

Cabinet will consider the report when it meets at 10am on Monday 5 September 5. You can watch the meeting online, live or afterwards and read the report .

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:43

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