Norfolk has generally been regarded as something of a backwater when it comes to road networks but in recent years, there have been some advances.
The main one is the dualling of the A11 from Cringleford to Thetford, where a new road has made congestion a thing of the past around Elveden and Center Parcs.
Further east, new roads have been constructed around Lowestoft and the villages of Great Yarmouth for new housing and closer to Norwich, we have the impending opening of the Northern Distributor Road.
This has been a long time coming, like the protracted plans for the A47 Acle Straight but its opening is on the horizon, hopefully this year.
The A11 dualling had a positive uplift on property prices along that corridor.
It’s a fact that places like Attleborough, Wymondham and Thetford have seen greater demand and price rises due to the new road. In fact, in 12 months, the average house price in Wymondham has increased by £21,000.
We expect the NDR to provide a similar uplift for Norwich.
This road will run for 20 kilometres from Postwick to the east of Norwich in an arc towards Taverham, providing relief for the congested ring road and improving access to the northern part of Norwich, including the airport.
It’s good news for property too, given the housing shortages we witness locally, with Norfolk County Council already committing to development of 30,000 new homes.
This will place a strain on community amenities like primary and secondary school places, but we, at Pure Estate Agency, expect the 2016 6% increase in Norwich property prices to be exceeded this year.
New builds are traditionally seen as great buy to let investments with NHBC warranties providing peace of mind to investors and tenants and with new developments around Poringland, Blofield, Brundall, Lingwood, Rackheath and Sprowston selling quickly, there’s no reason to expect the linear developments along the NDR not to mirror these.
Norfolk County Council estimate £1 billion of economic benefits in this region, with tourist hotspots like north Norfolk benefitting as well as the industrial parks and city centre from the increased population and decreased journey times - just as witnessed, south of Norwich, with the A11. Its cost of £178 million is easily outweighed by the expected financial gains.
Work on the Northern Distributor Road began in early 2016, with Balfour Beatty chosen as contractors and it forms the largest road project in the UK at the moment, with its opening forecast for a year’s time: February 2018, although wet weather before Christmas did slow work down.
If successful, and we at Pure, have no doubt it will be, a Norwich Western Link road is earmarked for the A47 south and west of Norwich that, will in time, form a dualled ring around the county capital, Norwich.
It is being completed in line with road improvements taking place in Norwich around Westlegate and the team at Pure Estate Agency can only see one way property is heading as a result of these works - steadily upwards.