Cost of Long Stratton bypass rises to £46.2million
5:20 PM August 25, 2022
The cost of the Long Stratton bypass has risen by nearly £9million, with delays, inflation and the war in Ukraine driving up the bill.
The planning application for the road, which is linked to the construction of 1,800 new houses in the area, has been delayed in part due to the nutritional neutrality issue, which has prevented councils from approving house plans.
Council bosses have confirmed the delay, coupled with inflation and the war in Ukraine driving up construction costs, means the road bill has risen from £37.4m to £46.2m .
Last year the Department for Transport pledged £26.2million for the £37.4million cost of the two-and-a-half-mile A140 single-track bypass.
But Norfolk County Council must now find other sources of funding to fill the gap.
Martin Wilby, Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport, said: “The delivery of the long-awaited and much-needed Long Stratton Bypass remains a key infrastructure priority for Norfolk County Council, which will create jobs and significant economic growth across our region and make a real difference in people’s lives, especially for residents of the city itself.
“The issues we face are not unique to our department. The impact of planning delays and inflationary pressures is being felt across the country and beyond, particularly in the construction sector, and broadly matches the increases we’ve seen elsewhere.
“We remain fully committed to overcoming these hurdles and seek to put ourselves in the strongest possible position to move forward at pace as soon as we can.”
A report will be presented to the Tory-controlled county cabinet next month, where councilors will be asked to delegate authority to authorize secondary road orders and land deals.
The nutrient neutrality issue means that Norfolk councils have been prevented from approving house plans in areas within the Broads and River Wensum catchments.
Work is underway to find ways for developers to mitigate pollution from developments that can harm habitats, in line with the Natural England guideline.
But council bosses are still hopeful construction work on the bypass can start in early 2024, with the new road open by the end of 2025.
Two months ago County Council revealed the cost of building the controversial Norwich Western Link had risen by more than £50m to £251m.