There are hopes that work to build a new roundabout at an accident blackspot will start later this year.

The new £1.65m roundabout at Hempton, near Fakenham, is going to be installed at the junction of Dereham Road and Hempton Green Road after it was agreed upon by Norfolk County Council’s planning committee 13 months ago.

The new four-arm, roundabout will be built north east of the existing Hempton Green Road/Dereham Road Crossroads junction, with the former carriageway converted to common land.

Fakenham & Wells Times: A plan of the proposed Hempton roundaboutA plan of the proposed Hempton roundabout (Image: Norfolk County Council.)

Tom FitzPatrick, Conservative Norfolk County councillor for Fakenham, whose division includes Hempton, said he has supported calls to build a roundabout as the best way to improve safety at this junction since he was first elected in 2013.

“I am keen to get the development underway as soon as possible. We’ve had too many crashes on our roads, not just here at Hempton, but on other roads nearby, so I am keen to do anything that will improve highways safety.

“I had hoped it would be possible to get work underway during the past couple of years. However, Covid added a complication to the need to consult and go through the proper planning process, which is being finalised.

"My hope now is that we can get on with building it as soon as possible but ensuring that there is minimum possible disruption on the roads for local residents and the surrounding businesses.”

Mr FitzPatrick added that he understood that the best-case scenario for work to begin is this September, but it could be next March or April.

During the council's consultation over the plans Historic England raised concerns about its impact on the nearby remains of St Stephen's Priory - while other people wanted it built further away from their homes.

A spokesman for the county council added: “Design work on the new Hempton roundabout is well underway and we are working through the necessary legal processes to allow us to start work on site, including finalising the Section 106 agreement.

“Norfolk County Council remains committed to this project and subject to the finalising of the legal process we hope to start on the site later this year.”