Great Britain

Council leader calls for re-opening of public consultation on Lower Thames Crossing after plans withdrawn

Artist's impression of the original Lower Thames Crossing proposal, which has now been withdrawn. Picture: Highways England

Artist's impression of the original Lower Thames Crossing proposal, which has now been withdrawn. Picture: Highways England


Havering Council leader Damian White has urged Highways England to re-open a public consultation after it was announced that the company had withdrawn its planning application for the Lower Thames Crossing.

A CGI of the proposed 14.5 mile tunnel. Picture: Highways EnglandA CGI of the proposed 14.5 mile tunnel. Picture: Highways England

Highways England confirmed that it had taken the decision to pull its submission for a Development Consent Order (DCO), which is a form of application required to proceed with a project of national significance.

The proposal would have seen a three-lane dual carriageway constructed to connect the M25 near North Ockendon to the M2 near Rochester, including a 2.4 mile tunnel between Gravesend and Tilbury.

A spokesperson confirmed the application will be re-submitted early in the new year and Cllr White said it needs to hear “insight” from the borough’s residents.

He said: “We are pleased to see that Highways England has withdrawn the planning application in order to reassess its proposals based on early feedback.

Lower Thames Crossing routeLower Thames Crossing route

“We join our fellow boroughs of Thurrock and Gravesham in urging it to re-open a meaningful public consultation.

“I feel that the way in which Highways England has carried out recent public consultations on this scheme is well short of our expectations given the importance of this project and I wrote to the Government about this in August.”

You may also want to watch:

In the letter to transport secretary Grant Shapps, which the Recorder reported on in August, Cllr White said the original crossing proposal would lead to noise and disturbance issues, make the borough’s roads busier and undermine efforts to improve air quality.

He also called for Havering residents to receive a toll discount.

Now that the application has been withdrawn, Cllr White said: “Our local residents are the people who will be most affected by the Lower Thames Crossing – it is only right that they are listened to and that their voices are not silenced by Highways England.”

Councillors from the Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Association group have drawn up a motion to be discussed at December’s full council meeting, which calls upon Cllr White to “reiterate” the council’s concerns about the proposed crossing to the government and the borough’s MPs.

The Highways England spokesperson said: “We’ve withdrawn the DCO application for the Lower Thames Crossing based on early feedback we’ve had from the Planning Inspectorate.

“We will take time to collate the information required for the specific points raised and will be resubmitting the application early in the new year.

“We have held a record-breaking programme of consultation and engagement for the Lower Thames Crossing, the most comprehensive ever undertaken for a UK road scheme.

“Since 2013 we have been in consultation for almost 300 days and have received almost 90,000 responses. This feedback has been instrumental is shaping our design and our DCO application.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Romford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Football news:

Wegorst-the first in the history of Wolfsburg to score 12 goals in the 1st round of the Bundesliga. He is in the top 3 of the goalscoring race
Bounou is the second goalkeeper of Sevilla after Palop, who blocked 2 + penalties in the La Liga season
Frank Lampard: Back in December, Chelsea were in great shape. I am concerned that we lost it so quickly
Rodgers on Leicester's fight for the championship: It's too early to say, but in the first half of the season we played consistently and at a high level
Only in one season in the Abramovich era did Chelsea score fewer points after 19 rounds than they do now. Then Mourinho was sacked after 16 games
Werner has not scored in 11 games in the Premier League. He has 1 goal in his last 15 games for Chelsea
Manchester United are ready to offer 12 million euros for defender Lance Medina. In September, he was called up to the Argentina national team for the first time