The Assistant Director of LTC
introduced the report and stated that the summary document was now
in phase 2, and renewed discussions were now underway with HE,
including Matt Palmer who was the new HE Executive Director. She
stated that a full list of mitigation had now been shared
confidentially with HE, but this would be published in January and
would include the full technical document and non-technical
summary. She stated that Thurrock were meeting with HE tomorrow,
but that HE had verbally stated a significant proportion of
mitigation would be included at DCO submission. The Assistant
Director LTC added that any mitigation that was not agreed by HE
would be reported back to the Task Force in the New Year. She
commented that mitigation would be provided either through a s106
Agreement or through a grant agreement, which would need to be
agreed by Thurrock’s Cabinet. She stated that the report had
not been updated as hoped, but there had been lots of changes made
recently, which would be presented to the Task Force in the New
Councillor Rice questioned if additional noise mitigation in Chadwell St Mary and Tilbury had been considered. The Stantec Senior Consultant responded that these locations had been highlighted as requiring additional mitigation due to construction noise and vulnerable communities living in these areas. He stated that these areas currently did not have enough mitigation or noise barriers, and would be looked at in detail, due to the proximity of population centres. Councillor Muldowney queried if the enhancement of green spaces included in the mitigation list had been updated. The Assistant Director LTC replied that there was no new additional detail included in the mitigation list, but more detail would be available after the meeting with HE tomorrow. She stated that the team had lots of work to do surrounding the mitigation list. She stated that they were currently identifying solutions, and proposed a tracker be included with the mitigation list, which would be updated monthly. The Stantec Senior Consultant added that since the previous Task Force meeting, the main report had been updated with the list of green spaces Councillor Muldowney had requested.
Councillor Allen stated that the proposed route would be a toll road, and asked if Thurrock Council could receive a percentage of money from the collection of tolls. He stated that this could mitigate the impact of the route, and help to sustain Thurrock over many years. The Assistant Director LTC responded that the Council were currently trying to secure a percentage of the tolls, which they hoped could be added to an environmental sinking fund. She added that the Council were also trying to ensure that if HE breached environmental regulations, Thurrock would also receive money. She stated that this fell under the remit of the Department for Transport, rather than HE. The Stantec Senior Consultant stated that this fell under M18 toll hypothefication, which would source money for Thurrock to deal with support projects. He added that these toll collections by local authorities were usually rejected. Councillor Allen then questioned the need for trees along the route and the mitigation these could provide. The Assistant Director LTC responded that the team were currently working with HE on environmental mitigation and additional planting. The Stantec Senior Consultant added that a summary of tree planting could be found on page 5 of the mitigation list at L22.
Councillor Jefferies stated that at the last Task Force meeting, the Assistant Director had commented that soundboards along the route would not be good enough, and questioned if there were any updates on this. The Assistant Director LTC responded that she did not have any updates, but that Thurrock were trying to take control from HE over sound proofing materials, to ensure it was absorptive rather than reflective, and this would be included in the mitigation schedule. She added that the Council were working to ensure that sound proofing was included in the design, particularly in areas such as the Mardyke Viaduct. She stated that HE were currently undertaking a renewed approach, and she felt confident and hopeful at the current position.
Councillor Allen questioned the raised elevation of the viaduct, and asked what residents around the area could expect to see. The Assistant Director LTC replied that HE had been asked to attend the Task Force meeting in January, where they would present on design issues including the viaduct. She stated that based on current conversations with HE, she was encouraged by their current designs. She added that the Department for Transport would decide who would discharge responsibilities over certain areas. She stated that currently Thurrock did not have discharge of responsibilities over any areas, but the team were working hard to change this and ensure the Council had responsibility for areas such as viaduct design.
Councillor Muldowney highlighted L20 in the mitigation list document, and felt it was good to see carbon emissions offsetting would be discussed. She stated that carbon emissions would increase during route construction and operation, and asked that if HE did not meet carbon emission guidelines, would money be granted to Thurrock Council. The Assistant Director LTC stated that concrete production drastically increased carbon emissions, and this would be a problem for HE during construction of the scheme, as well as emissions during route operation. She stated that Thurrock were currently working with HE on a Carbon Offset Fund, which would be discussed during the mitigation meetings.