Council to spend £1.2m to buy farm on the route of NDR Western Link
PUBLISHED: 16:09 25 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:32 25 January 2020
More than £1m of taxpayers’ money is to be used by council bosses to buy a farm - because it lies on the route of the proposed Norwich Western Link.
The owners of Pump Lane Farm, at Weston Longville, are set to be paid £1.2m for their 13-acre land by Norfolk County Council.
The site, off Weston Green Road, includes a home, converted barn and paddock, but part of it is on the mooted route of the £153m road to link the Northern Distributor Road to the A47.
That means the road, if built, would blight their property, so the county council's cabinet is next week due to agree to pay the owners £1.2m for the property and the land. The owner is also entitled to a home loss payment and disturbance costs.
Once the road is built, the parts of the site not used by the road would be sold.
The council is likely to need to spend a further £1.7m over the next year to acquire more land along the road's route.
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The Conservative-controlled council's cabinet has selected a 3.9-mile route from the A1067, near the NDR, travelling halfway between Weston Longville and Ringland.
It would link to the A47 at a new junction at Wood Lane near Honingham, with a 720-metre-long viaduct over the River Wensum.
Permission and funding for the road has yet to be secured, but at next month's meeting the cabinet is due to approve the approach which would lead to a contractor being appointed to design and build it.
Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: "We've had initial discussions with several potential bidders and are expecting a healthy level of interest in the contract.
"The procurement approach proposed requires the successful contractor to develop and take responsibility for the detailed design and construction of the project.
"This reduces the risk of changes needing to be made to the design at a later stage and gives more opportunity for bidders to suggest innovative ideas, helping to keep costs down and getting the best overall result for Norfolk."
The link has been backed by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norwich Airport, fire chiefs and bus bosses.
But it is opposed by the Wensum Valley Alliance, the Green Party, woodland owners on the route and the Labour group at County Hall.