A pledge has been made to push ahead with getting the Long Stratton bypass built, even though the price tag of the road has increased by almost £9m.

Norfolk County Council says the cost of the road has gone up from £37.4m to £46.2m, due to delays triggered by a block on granting permission for homes, inflation, and the war in Ukraine.

Diss Mercury: Long StrattonLong Stratton (Image: Archant)

The planning application for the road, linked to the construction of 1,800 new homes in the area, has been held up partly due to the issue around nutrient neutrality, which has prevented councils from approving plans for homes.

The nutrient neutrality issue means Norfolk councils have been blocked from approving plans for homes in areas within the watersheds of the Broads and River Wensum.

Work is under way to find ways for developers to mitigate for pollution from developments which can harm habitats, following the directive from Natural England.

But council bosses still hope bypass building work can start in early 2024, with the new road open by the end of 2025.

That limbo, coupled with inflation and the war in Ukraine pushing up construction costs, means the bill for the road has gone up from £37.4m to £46.2m.

But, at a meeting of the Conservative-controlled cabinet at Norfolk County Council on Monday (September 5), councillors agreed to push ahead with the scheme.

Diss Mercury: John Fisher, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for children's servicesJohn Fisher, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for children's services

John Fisher, cabinet member for children's services, said: "This has been on the cards for so many years - it's way overdue.

"To think we have an A-road bringing people into Norfolk with a pelican crossing in the middle of it, so people can cross the road to get to cafes and shops, is ridiculous."

The Department for Transport last year pledged £26.2m towards the cost of the two-and-a-half mile A140 single carriageway bypass.

But Norfolk County Council now faces having to find other sources of funding to close the gap - with cash from the Greater Norwich Growth Board likely to be sought.

Diss Mercury: Andrew Jamieson, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for financeAndrew Jamieson, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for finance (Image: Norfolk County Council)

Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance, said he hoped the impact on the county council's finances could be "minimal".

Councillors also agreed to delegate authority to allow side road orders and land agreements.

In June, the county council revealed the cost to build the controversial Norwich Western Link had gone up by more than £50m to £251m.