Norfolk County Council is currently working in collaboration with South Norfolk District Council, Norfolk Homes Ltd and Norfolk Land Ltd to develop proposals to deliver a long-awaited bypass of Long Stratton on the eastern side of the town, which will cut congestion and support the local economy.
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.
Delivery of a bypass is linked to the aims and objectives stated within the already adopted Joint Core Strategy (JCS) and the Long Stratton Area Action Plan (LSAAP). It is also a priority infrastructure project for Norfolk County Council and is considered key to supporting the delivery of much needed housing and employment growth in the area.
Crucial site investigation works were carried out at the end of Summer 2020 and at the October meeting of the council’s cabinet, approval was given for the formation of a new steering group to oversee delivery of the project.
An outline business case submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) to bid for Major Road Network funding to help facilitate delivery of the project was approved by government in July 2021.
The full detail of the outline business case can be viewed on the link below.
The outline business case estimated the current overall cost of delivering Long Stratton Bypass at £37.44m. In March 2022, planning permission was halted following the issues of new guidance from Natural England to local planning authorities concerning nutrient neutrality. The guidance 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).
The latest cost estimate has increased to £46.232m due to unforeseen delays in the planning process, ongoing national and worldwide impacts linked to inflation, such as the pandemic and more recently the war in Ukraine.
The project would be mainly externally funded with 70% from the DfT’s Major Road Network Fund and 30% from local contributions made up primarily of developer contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) contributions.
Updated documentation to the previously submitted planning applications from the developers have been submitted to South Norfolk District Council during January 2023. Once validated, all plans will be made publicly available via the council’s planning portal as part of the statutory planning consultation.
Archaeological investigations began summer 2022 and will be completed by February 2023. Some of the finds include arrowhead, coin and pottery. Due to weather affecting ground conditions, some of the reinstatements associated to the archaeology will be left until a more appropriate time for backfilling.
The Side Roads Order was submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport for consultation, as well as site notices having been erected and advertisements made in the local and national press. The title of this order is ‘The Norfolk County Council (A140 Long Stratton Bypass) (Classified Road) (Side Roads) Order 2022’ (the “SRO”).
The consultation period finished on 20 January 2023 and all site notices have now been removed. Only one objection was raised, from a utility company we are already in communication with, which is great news for the project. We are hopeful this can be resolved quickly and we can continue to move forward.
The target date for work to start on construction is April 2024, with the road open to traffic in the Autumn of 2025 subject to planning approval, procurement, and completion of other necessary statutory approval processes.