Agenda and draft minutes

Lower Thames Crossing Task Force - Monday, 20th September, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Training Room, The Beehive, West Street, Grays, RM17 6XP

Contact: Lucy Tricker, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email: direct.democracy@thurrock.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

22.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 352 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force meeting held on 16 August 2021.

Minutes:

The minutes from Lower Thames Crossing Task Force meeting held on 16 August 2021 were approved as a true and correct record.

23.

Items of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

24.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

There were no interests declared.

25.

Thurrock Council Consultation Response (to follow) pdf icon PDF 379 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Interim Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery introduced the report and stated that the National Highways (NH) consultation ended on 8 September 2021, but Thurrock Council and other local authorities had received an extended deadline of 6 October 2021 to submit responses, due to internal governance processes. He asked that the Task Force identify opportunities and potential amendments to the draft consultation response before it went to Full Council for agreement and final submission.

The Senior Consultant stated that the consultation response included a 17 page short summary, a 100 page overall summary, and approximately 500 pages of technical appendices. He stated that this was an average length for a consultation response, and the extension given to submit the response was due to governance processes within local authorities. He explained that the consultation response was split into seven sections, the first of these being the adequacy of consultation and policy. He explained that this document was approximately ten pages long and outlined how meaningful the consultation had been, and if it had complied with both National and National Highways (NH) policies.

The Senior Consultant outlined section two of the consultation response which discussed traffic modelling and alternative transport issues. He felt that this area presented issues for Thurrock Council as the documents did not meet the necessary objectives, and did not sufficiently identify alternatives. He described how the third section of the response considered the local impacts and benefits. He explained that Thurrock had determined the proposed route would negatively impact local connectivity, reduce the ability for housing development in the area, and have a large impact on the local road network. He mentioned that there was not enough detailed mitigation included in the consultation for the proposed increase in traffic that would be seen both during the construction phase and at route opening. The Senior Consultant moved on and explained section four of the consultation response which analysed construction impacts and proposed mitigation. He stated that the response focussed on the future, which included changes in travel patterns and the effect of the government’s decarbonisation plan. He stated that the current route proposal did not recognise the government’s move towards decarbonisation, and did not include sufficient provision for cycling and public rights of way routes. He added that NH had not yet made a legal commitment to provide skills training and employment for local people as part of the construction phase, and also did not address how local companies could become part of the procurement process.

The Senior Consultant explained section six of the response which focussed on technical and process matters, such as Development Consent Order (DCO) requirements. He explained that all of the DCO requirements, except for the travellers site detailed design, had to be approved by the Secretary of State under current proposals, but officers were pushing for this to be amended, so approval could be granted by Thurrock Council. He added that some of the utilities realignment works would be Nationally Significant Infrastructure projects  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Muldowney requested an item on compensation be brought before the Task Force, including statutory blight and non-statutory compensation, such as hypothecation for people with health issues. The Chair thanked the Task Force for their input, and the Senior Democratic Services Officer for finding an alternative location at short notice.