More than £25m has been spent on the Norwich Western Link already

The A47 at the Wood Lane and Berrys Lane junction

The Western Link would join the A47 near the Wood Lane and Berry Lane junction, where new roundabouts and slip roads would be built. - Credit: Denise Bradley

More than £25m has been spent on the Norwich Western Link so far, it has been revealed - before the road has got the go-ahead.

And council bosses have revealed how much more the scheme - the estimated cost of which has increased to £251m - will have racked up at two further key milestones.

By the time a planning application is lodged - anticipated to be in spring next year - Norfolk County Council will have spent just shy of £35m on the project.

Visualisation of Norwich Western Link

A visualisation of the proposed Norwich Western Link seen from the north at Taverham and looking south towards Honingham. The viaduct over the River Wensum is visible in the centre of the image - Credit: Norfolk County Council

And, by the time the full business case is approved, which County Hall bosses hope will happen in autumn 2024, £45.7m will have been spent.

Those figures are revealed in papers which will go before county councillors on Monday, July 4, where the rising price tag of the road will be discussed.

Councillors will be told that, if the road is not built, then the council could need to consider covering the costs run up so far by making savings from departments or drawing money from reserves.

Costs incurred so far include design, investigations, surveys and the price of land the council needs to purchase so the road, which would stretch from the A1067 Fakenham Road to the A47 near the Honingham junction, can happen.

But council leaders, waiting to hear if the government will approve the scheme's outline business case, have insisted the road remains good value for money.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council - Credit: Norfolk County Council

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Andrew Proctor, Conservative leader of the council, said: “No cost increases are welcome, but inflation and cost of living rises are affecting us all and they are hitting major transport schemes across the country.

“The report is clear that the case for the road remains strong; that it would still represent high value for money and that it could attract substantial government investment."

The council is hoping the government will still provide 85pc of the cost.

Before the estimated cost increase, the council hoped the government would give £169m of the previous £198m estimate.

County Hall now hopes the government will give £213.4m.

The council would need to find the remaining £37.7m by borrowing, with interest rate repayments of more than £1m a year over 40 years.

Campaigners against the 3.9 mile road have urged the council to cut its losses and scrap the plan.