Agenda item

LTC Mitigation Benefits List


Anna Eastgate provided an overview summary of the report which set out the list of identified cost impacts of the LTC scheme and the benefits to be gained as listed on the last page of the report. She reminded Members that the remit of the Task Force and the position of the Council was to maximise the benefits of the LTC scheme and to mitigate the impacts.


Councillor Muldowney queried why there was a focus on enhancing the two green spaces in Tilbury as that area would be less affected by the LTC route. She also asked if this would extend to Chadwell St Mary and if other green spaces in the Borough would be enhanced. Anna Eastgate answered that the Council’s Ecology Advisor, Steve Plumb, had agreed that other green spaces should be on the list and that the green spaces in Tilbury were closest to the LTC route with little visual screening of the route. Orsett Heath was also quite close and would experience noise and air quality issues. The LTC Open Space Assessment had also proposed compensation for Blackshots and had asked for full assessment of this to be undertaken to enable the service to look at the other effects on other open spaces. The service would consider this again once a response was received in regards to the level of mitigation proposed.


Councillor Allen queried whether Highways England (HE) had completed their Health Impact Assessment yet. He also noted that the report had assessed impacts to business, economy etc with estimates of minor, moderate and adverse and a moderate to adverse impact assessed to health. Anna Eastgate explained that Hatch had been commissioned for the Economic Costs and the Mitigation Benefits assessment in consultation with Officers and the Council’s Public Health Team. Hatch was familiar with undertaking assessments of major public sector infrastructure schemes and identifying values and impacts. The assessment within the report was more than guesswork and some of the judgement had come from the draft of the Health Assessment Impact from HE that included Thurrock’s data which the service had seen. She went on to say that HE had undertaken a number of assessments to identify the environmental impacts of the LTC scheme where some could show a significant environmental effect. With air quality, there was a standard in which the scheme would be measured against and mitigation would be required where a breach was identified. She stated that not every part of the LTC route in the Borough would have air quality issues and where there would be, there would be ongoing monitoring and mitigation from HE if there would be significant environmental effects.


Referring to a letter from HE to the Chair, Councillor Rice questioned where the noise barriers would be placed and how valuable these were and how these would be managed. Anna Eastgate answered that HE’s latest Design Refinements Consultation booklet highlighted where the noise barriers would be which had also been presented at the Task Force last month. HE had also highlighted that the design and materials for the noise barriers would not be considered until a Principal Works Contractor was hired.


The Chair questioned whether the service was able to influence a change in the construction hours. Anna Eastgate answered that the service would be able to influence the construction hours through the CoCP which would be scrutinised both before and under the examination process and likely to be a highly debated topic.


Councillor Muldowney sought clarification on who would be providing the resources for the Council to provide the Council-Led Support measures under the Mitigation and Legacy Package. She also asked how the Task Force would feed into this work once the Development Consent Order (DCO) was accepted Anna Eastgate said that it was expected that HE provide a fund under section 106 agreements or through another mechanism and the idea was for someone in Thurrock to lead on the work as they knew the community best. She went on to say that the Task Force’s parent committee was General Services Committee who had the power to make the decisions on the recommendations regarding the LTC scheme and that the Task Force did not have decision making powers.


Councillor Shinnick queried whether there would be measures put in place regarding HGVs parking during the construction of the LTC scheme. Anna Eastgate explained that HGVs were not in the remit of the report but HE would have to provide a transport strategy regarding the movement of materials. She went on to say that HGVs were part of a wider Borough issue and would be assessed through the Local Plan.


Laura Blake questioned how much of the identified mitigations on the list would be achievable. She also mentioned incentives for low emission vehicles using the LTC and accommodation for workers in Stanford Le Hope. Anna Eastgate answered that the Council would prioritise the list accordingly and there would be level of mitigation and negotiation with HE on the list. She moved on to say that the Council may need to reconsider its strategy as with an opposing strategy, HE may only give the bare minimum which was the mitigation required under the Environmental Impact Assessment. She went on to say that if HE did not meet the emission targets that they set for themselves, they would need put funds into an escrow account for Thurrock to use for environmental improvements and benefits in the vicinity of the crossing where there were impacts to air quality. Regarding accommodation for workers, she explained that HE could apply under the Town and Country Planning Act (as amended) 1990 and would not have to be included in the DCO.


The Chair sought more detail on L13 (Two Forts Way) and L16 (Coalhouse Fort) in the report. Anna Eastgate answered that Two Forts Way had always been a priority for the Council as the Council considered it provided significant benefits for the community and HE had shown a commitment to improving non-motorised user routes. A report would be going to Cabinet regarding Coalhouse Fort which set out options to improve and secure the future of the site.


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