Long Stratton’s planned bypass is set to move forward next month when councillors agree crucial next steps.
Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet will meet to agree the final financing arrangements for the project and delegate authority to submit the final business case to government and award the contract to construct the new road.
At the November 6 meeting councillors will also be asked to grant permission for preparation works to begin in January to ensure the long awaited bypass can be built as quickly as possible should the green light be given.
The Department for Transport previously committed £26.2 million towards its cost in granting approval of the council’s Outline Business Case, back in July 2021.
Cllr Graham Plant, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure at Norfolk County Council, said: “This is fantastic news for long-suffering commuters and residents in Long Stratton, and provides an economic boost to our whole region.
“We’re still awaiting further details from government following recent announcements indicating the possibility of potential uplifts in funding for major road projects, which is really helpful, but the steps we are taking will ensure the road can be fully financed no matter what and this puts us in the strongest possible position to deliver this vital new infrastructure without delay.
“The bypass is set to create hundreds of new jobs and homes, open up improvements for cycling and walking, and solve transport issues local people have been facing for more than a generation.”
Norfolk County Council has worked in collaboration with South Norfolk Council, Norfolk Homes Ltd and Norfolk Land Ltd to develop proposals for the long-awaited bypass, which was granted full planning permission by South Norfolk Council in September, along with the creation of over 1,800 new homes, new employment land and a site for a new primary school.
The target date for the main construction work to start on the bypass is Spring 2024 with an 18 month construction period and the road open to traffic by the end of 2025, subject to procurement and all statutory processes being met.
The proposed new A140 bypass will be a single carriageway that will provide a new junction at Church Lane to the north, extending from this junction on the east side of Long Stratton going south for approximately 3.9km, where it will re-join the existing A140 near Oakside farm.
The current estimated overall cost of the bypass is approx. £46.9m with funding primarily sourced from central government, a £14.5m commitment from the Greater Norwich Growth Board, local developer contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
The November 6 cabinet meeting will agree the funding arrangements for a £6 million shortfall from the original estimate caused by inflationary pressures and significant delays to the planning process due to new guidance from Natural England in respect of nutrient neutrality.