Lower Thames Crossing
This is a scheme to construct a 22.8km road linking the M25 in Essex to the A2/M2. This includes a 4.2 km twin bore tunnel under the Thames, a complex junction with the A2 between Marling Cross and the Cobham junctions, and rebuilding the A2 to the M2 at J1 (Three Crutches).
This scheme is proceeding by means of a Development Consent Order (DCO) application. The timeline has been:
- Secretary of State for Transport Route choice - April 2017
- Statutory Consultation – October to December 2017
- Supplementary Consultation – January to April 2020
- Design Refinement Consultation – July to August 2020
- DCO submission – October 2020
- DCO withdrawal – November 2020
- Community Impacts Consultation – July to September 2021
- Local Refinement Consultation - May to June 2022
Read the response we submitted on the issues raised by the Local Refinement consultation in summer 2021.
National Highways currently intends to resubmit its DCO application in late October 2022.
Southern Valley Golf course, bisected by the route, according to their website has accepted “an offer on the land occupied by Southern Valley Golf Course, so it is with regret that the decision has been made to close permanently on 31st August 2022”.
November 2022 update
National Highways submitted their Development Consent Order application on 31 October 2022. The application documents are available on the Lower Thames Crossing webpages of the Planning Inspectorate. Please note that it is a very large and complicated application and the best way to find information is by using the Examination Library unless you know precisely what you are looking for, as it lists each document that has been submitted to the examination by any party and the Planning Inspectorate.
January 2023 update
Just before Christmas the Examining Authority issued two procedural decisions on 19 December and 22 December 2022. The Examining Authority currently consists of four Inspectors, but this may be raised to five. The lead Inspector is Rynd Smith. These procedural decisions were primarily concerning National Highways and included accepting a number of amended documents where very minor corrections have been made. Note that when a document is amended there will be two versions: the document as amended and a track changes version, so it is clear what has been altered from the previous version.
Registration opens on 9 January and runs until 23.59 on 24 February 2023. Please use the form on the Planning Inspectorate website. To register, you need to provide your contact details and a brief statement of your main points (500 words maximum) for or against the application. Your full submission will be made later in your Written Representation in late spring/early summer. PINS will issue draft timetable for the Examination in the spring. Further guidance can be found in Planning Inspectorate advice note 8.2.
Please note that unless you register you cannot take part in the Examination which is primarily progressed by written submissions in response to questions from the Examining Authority. There will be public sessions held by the Examining Authority which will include open forum meetings specifically designed for local residents to express their views.
For full details visit the Planning Inspectorate’s webpage for this project.
Read more general guidance on the DCO process on the National Infrastructure Planning website. You can also read a series of advice notes which explain the process in more detail.
You can also read more information on the project from National Highways.