Agenda and minutes

Lower Thames Crossing Task Force - Monday, 14th February, 2022 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Lucy Tricker, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 210 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force meeting held on 17 January 2022.


The minutes of the meeting from the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force held on 17 January 2022 were approved as a true and correct record.


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.


There were no items of urgent business.


Declaration of Interests


There were no interests declared.


National Highways Compensation Policy pdf icon PDF 68 KB


Councillor Kent queried the purpose of the report. The Chair stated that the issue of compensation had not been discussed by the Task Force previously and gave the opportunity for officers to answer questions and provide comment. The Senior Consultant Stantec introduced the report and stated that compensation given by National Highways (NH) was divided into two parts: the first was statutory compensation that had been contained within section three of the Council’s formal consultation response; and non-statutory compensation.

The Senior Director CBRE stated that compensation could also be given in three instances where no land was taken from a resident:

a. Section 10 of the Land Compensation Act (commonly known as the McCarthy Rules) which were only applicable where a right benefitting retained land was impacted causing reduction in the value of retained assets. He gave an example of if a resident had their access rights impacted by the scheme, which subsequently reduced the value of their house, then they might be entitled to compensation for the reduction in value arising from the executive of the works. He explained that NH would often negate a claim by re-providing the right (in the example by providing an alternative access to the house).

b. Noise insulation regulations, which were only available to houses within 300m of the scheme and where:
i. The ‘Relevant Noise Level’ was at least 68 dB(A) L10(18 – hour).
ii. The ‘Relevant Noise Level’ was at least 1 dB(A) more than the          ‘Prevailing Noise Level’.
iii. New roads would contribute at least 1 dB(A) to the ‘Relevant Noise Level’.

He stated that the compensation offered under these regulations would be to mitigate the impact of the noise, for example by offering to pay for double or triple glazing, or other noise reducing works. He added that the noise threshold of 70 decibels was extremely high, and therefore only limited residents were likely to qualify for compensation under these regulations.

c. Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973, which compensated the owner of a house or interested land for the reduced value of their asset caused by physical factors arising from the use of the works. He stated that these physical factors included noise, smoke, dust, and fumes, but did not take into account loss of views. He stated that this compensation could only be accessed one year after LTC scheme opening, and residents either had to own the freehold to their property or have a long leasehold interest in rented property to apply. The Senior Director CBRE stated that it would be difficult for residents affected by the construction of the route to claim compensation, and non-compulsory purchases would not be regularly offered, even if residents were affected by noise, dust or traffic.

The Chair sought clarification that non-statutory compensation would not be widely available during the construction phase, and queried how many properties in Thurrock would be negatively affected by the construction. The Senior Consultant replied that NH had undertaken an exercise to identify all  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.


Verbal Update: Health Impact Assessment


The Senior Consultant stated that there was no update regarding the Health Impact Assessment (HIA), but the team were continuing to push and ask for updates. He stated that the team were still waiting on technical reports to be submitted by NH, and they were currently chasing these. He added that he was unsure of the dates for the next consultation, as these had not yet been agreed by NH, but the closing date for comments from affected local authorities was Monday 14 February. He explained that NH were still planning on submitting their DCO later this year, but a firm date had not yet been confirmed. The Senior Consultant commented that the team were also waiting on the updated operational cordon traffic model, which they were hoping to receive by the end of the month, and would then receive the updated air quality and noise assessments from NH approximately 6-8 weeks after that.

The Chair asked if any progress on the HIA had been made since the last Task Force meeting in January. The Senior Consultant Stantec replied that there had been little progress since January, but regular CIPHAG meetings were being held every six weeks, which had provided additional information on how NH carried out their assessments. Councillor Muldowney thanked the Senior Democratic Services Officer for circulating version 1 of the HEqIA, and queried how NH had determined that the scheme would have a neutral impact on health due to climate change. The Senior Consultant replied that the DCO v1 had been submitted in October 2021 and had probably been finalised in mid-2021, which was before the governments drive to decarbonise and climate change had formed part of the government’s core policy. He stated that the HEqIA had been based on policy at the time, and the team hoped the document would change in line with the updated climate policies. He explained that the bar for regulation impacts requiring mitigation was high, and therefore a scheme had to have a large impact on the local area and local pollution levels before it required mitigation. Councillor Muldowney stated that Thurrock’s public health team had analysed the standards that NH used and had found them to be lacking. The Senior Consultant added that an independent audit into the methodology used for the HEqIA had been undertaken and paid for by NH, and scrutinised by the public health teams for nine impacted local authorities, who had lots of methodological criticisms. He stated that NH had committed to adopting approximately 80-90% of the criticisms recommended through the audit.

Councillor Muldowney asked if any progress had been made regarding NH commitment to local work and training for the scheme. The Senior Consultant replied that the team had asked NH for apprentice targets, local labour targets and worklessness targets, and he felt that NH were slowly beginning to agree with Thurrock on the need and benefits of these targets. Councillor Chukwu questioned the overall cost of the scheme, particularly considering the rising cost of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 118 KB


The Chair queried if any progress had been made on inviting NH to a Task Force meeting. The Senior Consultant responded that the team were waiting on NH to confirm their consultation dates before an invitation was sent. The TCAG Representative asked if a report regarding the Council’s communication strategy and the LTC could be brought to the Task Force. The Senior Consultant replied that he would liaise with The Interim Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery regarding this request. He explained that Thurrock were currently reviewing their LTC website to make it more agile and user-friendly, as well as undertaking a piece of work to ensure customer service for NH met the required standard.