Agenda and minutes

Lower Thames Crossing Task Force
Monday, 10th December, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

35.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Peter Ward, Thurrock Business Representative sent his apologies, and John Speakman acted as his substitute.

36.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 101 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force meeting held on 12 November 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force meeting held on 12 November 2018 were approved as a correct record.

37.

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.

38.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

There were no interests declared.

39.

Statutory Consultation Response pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director Place began by stating Appendix A in the agenda would be going to an extraordinary meeting of Full Council on 11 December 2018, and comments made at the Task Force would be captured and summarised. He added that both business and resident representatives had been invited to speak on the item. The Assistant Director Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) stated that the response fell into two parts, the first being the Council’s response as a Local Authority, and the second being the Council’s response as a landowner. She listed the recommendations made in the report and stated there was a minor error at point 5.3.1 which would be rectified through a delegated decision. She elaborated that the Council’s response fell into three categories: an ‘in-principle opposition’; the inadequacy of consultation; and the substantial changes which would have to be mitigated against. She highlighted point 3.6 which summarised the consultation response and 3.7 which summarised the landowner response. The Assistant Director LTC then stated that the Council had few direct land parcels which would fall under the compulsory land acquisition category, with only one residential property and few agricultural holdings; but had a substantial amount which fell under the Part 1 Compensation category. These were land parcels which could claim compensation for some form of pollution, up to one year after the road had been opened. She finally drew the Committee’s attention to Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) that considered the environmental effects of the LTC and informed the final Environmental Assessment.

Councillor Spillman began by questioning the methodology of the PEIR and shared his concerns that the data used for the report might be flawed. The Assistant Director LTC replied that information contained in the PEIR was not as detailed or up-to-date as the Council would have liked, and this was compounded by the fact the red line boundary had been increased by 68%. Councillor Spillman also shared his concerns that specific numbers of toxins were not included in the PEIR, and the effects of these toxins such as increased rates of death or COPD were not discussed. The Assistant Director LTC responded that Highways England (HE) were undertaking a full Health Impact Assessment (HIA) which was currently ongoing and this would show what health mitigation would be needed. The HIA would then be scrutinised by an examination board, and the Council could then ask specific questions. The Strategic Lead Public Health added that she had attended a meeting with HE at the end of November, which had included other Directors of Public Health from Kent and Southend to discuss the ongoing HIA, and provide local information. She felt that as this would be a monthly meeting it would provide quality assurance that the HIA would be detailed. Councillor Allen asked how far along work was on the HIA and when the findings would be made public. The Assistant Director LTC replied that the Council had produced a scoping document for HE, and had taking them through the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

Task Force Priorities List pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Minutes:

The Assistant Director LTC began by highlighting that HE had responded with a written response to question 8, which had been directly copied and pasted onto the Priorities List. The Chair added that the Priorities List also contained references to the mitigation schedule and invited the Committee to make any additional comments. Councillor Spillman commented that there was currently research being undertaken into the effect living near busy roads had on conditions such as dementia, and sought assurances that the HIA would contain all the latest research. The Assistant Director LTC stated that the Public Health team and Directors were meeting regularly and would raise this point at the next discussion.

The Vice-Chair then referenced point 5 of the Priorities List on page 137 and asked how the scheme would compare to a crossing further East, such as from Canvey Island, as HE had not yet responded. The Assistant Director LTC said she would pick this up before the next Task Force meeting. She added that HE have reported alternatives in their Environmental Assessment.

Councillor Allen then discussed the northern portal and if the spoil could be contaminated from the old Victorian landfill. He sought assurance that this would be disposed in line with current health and safety regulations. The Assistant Director LTC responded that HE had been on site digging bore holes to identify substances in the ground, although the route would not be coming in to contact with the whole landfill as the gradient had a steep 3% incline. She confirmed that HE mitigation included dealing with contaminated materials and the DCO would take this into account. She added that it was the Council’s responsibility to enforce this and monitor for any breaches. The TCAG Representative asked if the bore holes would release any toxins into the air. The Assistant Director LTC confirmed this was covered in the Environmental Management Plan, but every eventuality could not be insured against. She stated that if HE breached planning control it was an automatic criminal offence, that incurred a £50,000 fine at magistrates court, and an unlimited fine at crown court.

Councillor Spillman drew the Committees attention to Point 7e on page 145 of the agenda and asked whether the HIA would be tailored to the Thurrock environment, as the levels of COPD was already much higher in Thurrock than in other areas. The Assistant Director LTC answered that HE had requested localised data for the HIA. The Vice-Chair then queried point 4b regarding the Tilbury Link Road, and the reason for the removal of this from the scheme. The Assistant Director LTC stated the Tilbury Link Road did not meet the Client Scheme Investment, and HE felt it would increase the level of ‘rat-running’. She added that only 9% would use the LTC and 4.5% of these would be going south-bound. The Resident Representative underlined point 7h regarding the heritage assets, and commented on the possibility that the ‘Two Forts Walk’ over the northern portal could become a formulated walk.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Minutes:

The Chair confirmed that a traffic modelling report would be coming to the Task Force in January, and a report on the HIA would be coming to the Task Force in June/July 2019. The Chair then wished everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.