Northern Distributor Road (NDR): Update Note
The NDR has now completed the statutory processes following an examination in public
during 2014 and the subsequent approval of the Development Consent Order (DCO) by
the Secretary of State in June 2015.
This paves the way for the NDR to be built and enables the wider ‘Transport for
Norwich’ improvements to be fully realised over the next 10 to 15 years. This will see
improved bus, walking, cycling and city centre transport infrastructure in the greater
The provision of this infrastructure is vital in order to support the growth expected within
greater Norwich and the City as part of the already adopted Joint Core Strategy (JCS)
and City Deal. Significant growth in employment and housing are important to the
economy of Norfolk and the NDR is a fundamental transport element within the JCS that
will unlock major areas of growth. It is also an essential infrastructure improvement
underpinning New Anglia LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan.
Delivering the NDR will unlock around £1bn of economic benefit to Norwich and Norfolk,
after the costs of the project are allowed for. The transport benefits, excluding Postwick
Hub and taking account of the current forecast additional construction cost, provide a
cost/benefit ratio of 6.50. This is 'very high' value for money using DfT assessment
The construction cost of the NDR has been developed with Balfour Beatty Civils Ltd
(BB), the main contractor already appointed on a two stage contract. Stage 2 will only
be awarded if approval is given to the ‘target cost’ developed for the works.
The original budget figures for the NDR construction costs were provided by the
contractor in 2013 and used during the Examination in Public (EiP) process. Since
completion of the EiP during in 2014, more detailed work has been undertaken with BB
in order to finalise the construction costs for the project.
The construction target cost is now £29.9m more than the 2013 budget price. The main
reason for this is construction inflation in the last two years, a direct result of the two-
year delay to reconfirm approval of the scheme (in December 2011). There are also
some additional items that have arisen during the Development Consent process, and
higher specifications that must be met for drainage and other items including wildlife
and environmental measures. Many of these were as a consequence of agreeing
details with the statutory environmental organisations.
These have all increased the scope and cost of the work required.
The financial summary for the project is provided in the following table:
These figures represent the budget
pricing provided by BB, and include
significant value engineering. The
£104.2m figure is a current estimated
final target cost expected from BB.
Further work has enabled some
confidence in reducing the budget
allocation for utility diversion works.
Land costs have increased as a
consequence of additional project
timescales and more activity in
development which has inflated land
This includes fees, risk and contingency
allowances. It includes an increase due
to additional fees associated with the
Slightly increased costs following a
review and allowing for laboratory
Total NDR Budget
£1.0m cost increase due to additional
work. This is the anticipated out-turn
cost at completion.
The table shows an overall increase in budget of £29.9m. The main reasons for this are
provided in the following table:
A major upturn in the construction sector and increase
in the prices received in 2015 from the supply chain
compared with the budget figures developed late
2012/early 2013. Independent analysis indicates
inflation impacts in this period could be up to 20%. The
BB target price reflects a construction cost increase of
Includes additional items not within the original BB 2013
costs, developed in the period ahead of and during the
examination in public. Includes offline junction details,
archaeological investigation, environmental works and
supervision, additional fencing and access tracks, and
signing and lighting details.
Includes extensive changes to the drainage design to
meet Environment Agency requirements, higher
specification bat gantries, additional construction
constraints, increased landscaping provision and
changes to the bridge structures.
There are 4 options to consider to deal with the funding shortfall. It should be noted that
an option to deliver less of the NDR to reduce costs is not possible as this would not
comply with the DCO. Also, delaying delivering of sections of the NDR will only
increase costs. The options and their implications are provided in the table below:
1. Stop. Do not deliver the
This has significant implications. The adopted
Joint Core Strategy setting out growth locations
and planning guidance will need to be revisited.
This impacts on the ability to accommodate
around 8000 new homes and about 18,000 jobs.
The wider ‘Transport for Norwich’ delivery plan will
need to be completely reconsidered and updated. NOT RECOMMENDED
2. Continue to deliver the
This option would provide up to 50% of the funding
NDR, and seek additional
shortfall (£15m). A request to DfT as part of the
funding from DfT
full approval process has been made and this is
being considered by DfT. It remains however that
NCC will need to fund the remaining shortfall of
£15m. It is expected that funding can be provided
from capital budgets within the Highways and
Transport service (CES Department) over a 3 – 5
year period depending on the funding gap. RECOMMENDED
3. Continue to deliver the
This option will require all funding to be provided
NDR, with all additional
by NCC. It could include the £15m from the
funding from NCC as a
Highways and Transport service set out above, but
will also require a drawdown of a further £15m
funding. Whilst considered feasible, this option will
need to be developed with the Executive Director
of Finance if Members are prepared to accept this
RECOMMENDED IF OPTION 2 STALLS OR DfT
CONTRIBUTION IS LOWER THAN £15m
4. Continue to deliver the
This option will generate a delay to the delivery of
NDR, complete a re-
the project of around 6 months to allow for the re-
procurement for the works procurement process. The impact on timescales
could be greater as there would be little time after
this to complete essential environmental works
before key seasonal restrictions. There is a high
risk that re-procurement will not realise the
required savings and the risk to timescales will
potentially outstrip any savings. This option would
also delay any drawdown of funding from DfT,
which could also put that funding at risk. NOT RECOMMENDED
The NDR is a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity for NCC to deliver on its expectations of
providing good infrastructure that supports growth in housing and jobs that will
significantly boost the economy of Norfolk.
The NDR is at a point of being able to be delivered, with all statutory processes
completed. Subject to funding provision, this vital infrastructure can be started in
October 2015 and completed by December 2017. This will help deliver the Transport
for Norwich infrastructure plans and enable the growth aspirations in housing and
employment to be achieved in line with the adopted Joint Core Strategy and the City
Deal and support the council’s priority of delivering high value jobs to the region.
Achieving these aspirations will have to be completely refreshed if the NDR is stopped.
A more detailed report will be provided to Members for a discussion about the finance
required at Full Council (provisional extra council 2 Sept). Subject to Full Council's
support to continue with the NDR project and assurance that finance is in place, the
EDT Committee will then be asked to confirm the Stage 2 contract award to BB at the
next meeting on 18 September, to set the project in motion for an October 2015 start.
For any queries in relation to the above details, please contact xxxx, xxxx (xxxx Tel