How we’re preparing to resubmit our application

How we’re preparing to resubmit our application

On 20 November 2020, we withdrew our application for a Development Consent Order based on early feedback we received from the Planning Inspectorate.

The fundamentals of the Lower Thames Crossing, including its objectives and location, will remain the same but we will further develop some technical information related to some elements of the scheme before we resubmit our application next year. Read more below.

The Lower Thames Crossing will improve the journeys for millions of road users, support tens of thousands of jobs, and create a new connection that will bring billions of pounds of economic benefit to build back the post-Brexit and post-Covid economy. We are committed to delivering the project as soon as possible, in a way that is open and transparent, to provide the greatest benefits to communities and road users. 

Our Development Consent Order: an update on our application

The early feedback from the Planning Inspectorate includes:

Managing construction traffic

The Planning Inspectorate requested further information on the impact of the project on traffic during the construction phase. We recognise that Local Authorities are keen to find out more information about our construction traffic appraisals and will be engaging with them on these issues.

Our plans identified that an existing jetty on the River Thames near the northern tunnel entrance construction site could potentially be used during the construction phase.

The Planning Inspectorate asked for further assessments about how the operation of the jetty could, if used, impact river traffic. We will be developing Navigational Impact Assessment and engaging with stakeholders on this topic.

Site Waste Management

Our plans have set out our approach for managing materials and waste and include a commitment for our contractors to produce a Site Waste Management Plan to coordinate the reusing, recycling and disposal of waste. This includes an auditing process and controls to ensure that contractors will reduce waste across the construction sites at every step.

The Planning Inspectorate has requested that we provide more details on this plan, including how the different contractors will coordinate the reusing, recycling or disposal of waste.

Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)

The Planning Inspectorate has requested we enhance our assessment to provide a more detailed explanation of our approach to assessment of potential effects on European designated sites where we have indicated there would be no likely significant effects as a result of the construction and operation of the new road alone, or in combination with other projects.

We will engage with Natural England to carry out this work.

Landscape and ecology management

The Planning Inspectorate has asked that we provide more detail on our approach to the long-term management of the project’s proposed environmental mitigation.

As part of our wider strategy to mitigate and compensate for impacts on wooded and grassland areas, we have proposed to construct green bridges and have identified areas for new woodland planting, grassland and hedgerows.

A number of documents within our application provide the framework for the management and maintenance of areas of landscaping and ecological mitigation. We are exploring ways to produce a plan that outlines our overall approach to managing landscape and ecology ahead of resubmitting our application for a Development Consent Order early in the new year.

The Planning Inspectorate has shared some feedback from Local Authorities on our approach to consultation.

We’ve held a record-breaking programme of consultation, the most comprehensive ever undertaken for a UK road project with almost 300 days spent in consultation and nearly 90,000 responses received. We provided a significant level of detail on all aspects of the project in a wide range of formats to aid peoples understanding of our proposals.

We’ll consider this feedback carefully as we refine key areas of our submission ahead of resubmitting our application for a Development Consent Order next year.