It has been two years since Highways England (because it was then, earlier than the rebrand) withdrew its preliminary growth consent order (DCO) software to the Planning Inspectorate for the Decrease Thames Crossing.
The statutory session for the venture came about again in 2018, with extra consultations since. In October 2020 an S46 discover of pre-application was lodged however the Planning Inspectorate indicated that the appliance lacked vital particulars and so it was withdrawn.
Highways England was anticipated to take not more than 4 months to compete the paperwork adequately. It has taken two years.
The Planning Inspectorate has confirmed that it lastly obtained an software for the Decrease Thames Crossing on 31st October 2022.
The £8.2bn venture entails the development of a twin bored tunnel below the River Thames to the east of Tilbury and Gravesend, plus 14.3 miles of recent roads to hyperlink it to the M25 and A13 (to the north of the rover) and the M2/A2 (to the south). At a size of 4.3km it will likely be the longest UK street tunnel and with a diameter of greater than 16 metres, the widest tunnel in Europe.
Three bidders are shortlisted to construct the tunnels. They’re:
- BFV Joint Enterprise – Bam Nuttall, Ferrovial and Vinci, supported by Atkins, Tecnica y Proyectos (TYPSA) and Stantec
- Bouygues Murphy Joint Enterprise (BMJV), supported by Mott McDonald and Ove Arup & Companions
- Dragados-Hochtief Joint Enterprise (DH JV).
Shortlisted bidders for the street constructing packages are:
- BFV JV
- Kier Eiffage JV
- Skanska Development UK
- Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering
- Kier Eiffage JV.
Now that the planning software has been submitted, native authorities within the space have 14 days to submit what is named adequacy of session representations to the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspectorate will then take an extra 14 days earlier than saying by 28th November whether or not it deems the newest software acceptable to proceed to the examination stage of the method.
Matt Palmer, Nationwide Highways’ director for the Decrease Thames Crossing, stated: “We’ve carried out an enormous programme of engagement and session with our stakeholders and communities to enhance the design of the Decrease Thames Crossing and scale back our affect on our neighbours and the surroundings. We’re grateful to our stakeholders and native communities for taking the time to provide us suggestions and assist us form our route and the way we are going to construct it.”
Nonetheless, opposition stays, together with from the Thames Crossing Motion Group. Laura Blake, the group’s chair, stated: “We all know that failure to ship the LTC venture is an existential risk to Nationwide Highways, their very own report said as a lot. We will solely assume that’s the reason they’ve pushed forward with resubmitting the DCO software regardless of an absence of sufficient session, and proof that the venture wouldn’t ship the scheme goals.
“It is a massively harmful and dangerous venture, that will not resolve the issues on the Dartford Crossing, will not be match for goal, and now estimated to value within the area of at the very least £10bn could be an entire waste of taxpayers’ cash. Our native authorities, MPs and plenty of main organisations and teams have issues identical to us. The very fact Nationwide Highways have pushed forward with the resubmission wreaks of desperation for a venture that’s hanging by a thread and ought to be put out of its distress. We want and deserve higher.”