Agenda item

LTC Consultation Response (to follow)


The Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery explained that the document would outline the Council’s response to the consultation and that it was agreed that it would be submitted to Full Council. He stated that National Highways (NH) had allowed the Council until 4 July 2022 to allow the response to pass through governance processes before submission.

The Senior Consultant Stantec stated that the consultation response was divided into four sections. He explained that the first section was a 10-page summary document and introduction, which would be presented to Full Council. He stated that the second section dealt with prematurity and adequacy of consultation. He stated that the team had considered the LRC consultation was premature as the Council had only just received the traffic modelling data; and no Health Impact Assessment (HIA) or air quality and noise assessment results had been received to understand impacts or mitigation. He stated that officers had also deemed the consultation as inadequate as there had been no consultation events in Chadwell St Mary or South Ockendon, and the consultation had only been for a period of five and a half weeks, rather than eight weeks, which was preferred by the Council and provided by NH in the previous consultation. The Senior Consultant Stantec explained that section three of the response provided a summary of technical issues, and section four dealt with the response to the 26 changes outlined in the consultation, of which 15 were in Thurrock. The Senior Consultant Stantec explained that this section responded to areas such as the Community Involvement Consultation response; modelling changes; changes to the A13/Orsett Cock junction; Tilbury Fields; Tilbury Operational Access; utilities; cyclists and horse-riders (WCH) rights of way; landscaping around the A13 Junction and North Road; air quality and noise impacts; land and property compensation; nitrogen impacts and mitigation; health, equalities and wellbeing; and climate change and decarbonisation.

The Chair thanked officers for their hard work in preparing the Council’s response and asked if officers could submit the response as soon as possible for Full Council, to ensure Members could read and make appropriate comment. The Chair queried how many changes to the scheme had been proposed since 2018. The Senior Consultant Stantec replied that most changes were outlined in the various consultation ‘Guides’, but approximately 100-150 changes had been made since 2018, with approimately 20-30 of these categorised as significant changes. The Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery added that many residents appeared confused by the ad-hoc nature of the consultations and  were unaware of the full scheme and its impact, and asked if Members could help ensure that their residents understood the potential impacts relevant to them.

The Chair queried the raised areas of land around the A13. The Senior Consultant Stantec stated that this was outlined in the Guide on page 65, but listed areas such as along Stifford Clays Road, where the earth bund would rise approximately 15m above existing ground level; and alongside the existing A13 where the earth bund would rise approximately 10m above existing ground level. He explained that the area to the east of the proposed relocated travellers’ site would also contain a raised earth bund. He explained that NH had excess spoil to remove, due to the proposed shrinkage of Tilbury Fields, and these raised areas would be used for this spoil, as well as to mitigate noise impacts. The Senior Consultant Stantec added that officers were concerned regarding the height of the bunds, and whether or not planting would succeed due to their steepness. The Chair questioned if NH would pay Thurrock Council compensation if the LTC reduced capacity on the A13. The Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery responded that the Council were involved in ongoing conversations with NH and the Department for Transport on this issue. The Chair queried if NH were proposing on making the A13 a trunk road. The Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery stated that NH had proposed to trunk a section of the A13 and A1014, to make it part of the strategic road network. He stated that officers were currently seeking clarification of these proposals from NH.

The Resident Representative queried how spoil would be moved from the tunnel entrance to the proposed earth bund areas. He stated that at the recent consultation in East Tilbury he had questioned NH officers on the number of vehicle movements, and they had confirmed that there would be approximately 130 vehicle movements per day on East Tilbury Road and Muckingford Road into the construction area. The Resident Representative confirmed that this number would be double, as NH counted one round trip as one vehicle movement. The Senior Consultant Stantec stated that the greater proportion of the spoil would be used on Tilbury Fields, but any other spoil would be moved through internal haul roads. He explained that there were currently gaps in NH internal haul road plans, including at the railway line in East Tilbury. He stated that the Council had recently received an updated Construction Cordon Model and were working hard to review this data to determine impacts. The Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery added that NH planned approach was to build the viaduct first, although this could take two years to complete. He stated that the Council were also promoting the idea of a new bridge at East Tilbury over the railway line, which had originally been promised as part of the scheme, but had now been withdrawn due to funding issues within NH, although alternative funding mechanisms were now being investigated by NH. 

The Chair summarised and stated that the Task Force agreed with the broad approach outlined by officers for the consultation response and urged residents to complete the consultation.