The July 2023 LTC Task Force meeting took place on Mon 17th July, the agenda for this meeting can be found here.
The meeting was webcast live and is also available on the council’s YouTube channel so you can watch again, and our update covers some of the highlights.
Verbal Update on Development Consent Order (DCO) Examination Process and next steps
The Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection informed committee members that the Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) had now been signed. This agreement covers aspects of what National Highways/LTC will cover the cost of, rather than the council having to find funding for, in regard to the LTC DCO Examination process. It was clarified that whilst other Local Authorities also have PPAs with NH/LTC, the one Thurrock has is believed to be quite unique due to the 114 position the council are in.
It was then explained that the next big deadline the council faced for the LTC DCO examination was the 18th July when the council’s Local Impact Report LIR) was due to be submitted. This is a very important representation for councils to make as part of the DCO examination process, and the council’s representation was sizeable and covered a very good and wide range of issues and topics on how the proposed LTC would impact Thurrock, if it goes ahead. All representations made by the 18th July deadline would be published shortly on the Planning Inspectorate’s LTC webpages.
Some of the main key issues that have been covered in the LIR including:
- That the LTC would fail on scheme objectives
- Net Zero carbon emission concerns
- Safety impacts
- Value for money of the scheme being overstated
- Benefit Cost Ration being so low
- Lack of consideration of alternatives
- Traffic Modelling being used not being fit for purpose
- Impacts to the Local Plan
- Health and environmental impacts
- Flood risk
- Emergency services impacts
- Greenbelt impacts
Members were told that the next couple of deadlines after that would be in August, and that it is very fast paced. Also that the Planning Inspectorate would issue their first written questions on the 15th August 2023. Questions would likely be largely aimed at National Highways, but could also be aimed at others including the council. Again the pace would be fast, with the deadline to respond to any questions issued by the Examiners to be about one month later. We were told that other large DCO projects had been subject to as many as around 1000 questions from the Examiners, so we will have to wait and see how many they issue in regard to the LTC.
The LTC DCO Examination will run until 20th December, and the Task Force committee members agreed they would appreciate ongoing verbal updates as things progress.
LTC Task Force meetings – click here
LTC DCO Updates Index – click here
Thurrock Council’s participation in the LTC DCO (March 2023) – click here