Agenda and minutes

Lower Thames Crossing Task Force - Monday, 17th July, 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, RM17 6SL

Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force meeting held on 19 June 2023.

Additional documents:


The minutes of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force held on 19 June 2023 were approved subject to the amendment provided by the Thames Crossing Action Group Representative.


The Resident Representative asked to be provided with the minutes.



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.

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There were no items of urgent business.



Declaration of Interests

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There were no interests declared.



Verbal update on Development Consent Order (DCO) Pre-Examination Process and next steps

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The Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection informed the Task Force that the Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) had now been signed. Since the last meeting the examination timetable has been confirmed and the officer outlined the next deadline (18 July) and the submission of the council’s Local Impact Report (LIR).  The LIR will shortly appear on the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) website, along with all other relevant documents.  Following this deadline, the focus will be on issue specific hearings and a series of written questions.

The Chair asked for some examples of the impacts and the officer outlined several examples including a) challenging the need for the project, b) the scheme objectives and what LTC is looking to achieve, c) safety impacts d) value for money e) transport modelling issues, f) access to development sites and lack of consideration of alternatives.  The environmental impact and flood risk impacts and emergency services provision were also outlined.

The Assistant Director detailed concerns about the legacy of the scheme in terms of skills, education and employment and concern about unambitious and insufficient localized targets plus commented on the key planning issue of the greenbelt.  The applicant has not provided the council with a robust assessment.

The Consultant agreed with the points outlined by the Assistant Director and clarified that the council is not objecting in principle for the need for a crossing, it’s the need for this crossing, as designed.  The seven scheme objectives initially proposed have not been adequately satisfied.  Other issues identified are land ownership, lack of compensation to residents who are seriously affected and control documents which must legally be complied with as part of the DCO application.  The council has made suggestions for changes and improvements to those which are not properly covered.

The Task Force were reminded of future deadlines

·       Deadline One – tomorrow (18 July 2023)

·       Deadline Two – 3 August

·       Deadline Three – 24 August

The Examining Authority will issue the first set of written questions on 15 August, with the deadline for response in one month.  This is regardless of the number of questions to respond to.  The process is due to finish on 20 December 2023.

The Chair asked Members of the Task Force if they would like to comment on the verbal update.

Members of the Task Force questioned if the council was confident it has the capacity to deal with these matters in a timely fashion and respond to the written questions.  The Assistant Director informed members that there is a significant consultant team working alongside the authority and made reference to the PPA which provides the mechanism to make sure funding is recovered to cover the costs of the consultant team.  Without those there would be cause for concern.  The PPA covers the majority of the work and is different to the position of other local authorities largely due to the negotiations that took place.  Certain items are not covered in the PPA such as responding to written questions, paying  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.