Housing plans for two Lynn sites would not be viable unless money can be found for a new link road between the area and the town’s northern bypass, according to council officials.
Three options for the proposed link between Edward Benefer Way and Lynnsport, which could cost more than £4 million to build, are being examined.
And a report to the West Norfolk Council cabinet, which will consider the scheme at a meeting later this month, has called for around £360,000 to be set aside to make the project ‘shovel ready’ in order to secure external funding.
The recommended option would see the route start from the junction between Edward Benefer Way and Hamburg Way, then run alongside the existing cycle path and onto Reid Way and Front Way before entering the Lynnsport site.
Although that is the most expensive, at around £4.35 million, officials say it would reduce the environmental impact of the scheme.
However, the £850,000 shortfall between it and its nearest rival would either have to be borrowed or taken from existing reserves.
Alternative proposals would either see the road go through the existing industrial estate or along the route of the existing cycle path, which would be re-routed.
Cycling campaigners criticised the original plan to use the cycle path for the road.
But council leader Nick Daubney said the plan would help to bring the housing schemes “back to life.”
He added: “When we were looking at it before the cycling fraternity made comments and I think we have addressed their concerns and managed to maintain a lot of the natural environment. I think given a bit more time we have come up with a better scheme.”
In his report, lead officer Dale Gagen revealed that the council is currently seeking a developer partner for housing sites at Lynnsport and Marsh Lane.
However, he warned that the scheme would not be viable if the cost of the road had to be met by a would-be developer.
He said: “This proposal enables the major housing scheme to proceed, which in turn should result in a significant capital receipt being generated, boosting the West Norfolk economy and contributing to national housing and economic growth targets.”
The report argued that the scheme would also improve access to and from the proposed development zones, as well as improving the situation in designated air quality management areas, such as around the Gaywood clock, by providing an alternative exit point for drivers.
Last year, the council made an unsuccessful bid to the Department of Transport for pinch point funding for the route.
The authority is currently in talks with both Norfolk County Council and the New Anglia and Greater Cambridge local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) about how the project could be paid for. Full proposals will have to be submitted to the LEPs this year.