Lower Thames Crossing position statement

National Highways (previously named Highways England) originally submitted a Development Consent Order (DCO) application to the Planning Inspectorate in October 2020. The Planning Inspectorate raised a number of concerns with the application which prompted National Highways to temporarily withdraw in order to undertake further work.

Since November 2020 National Highways have completed further work, including revising their proposals following feedback from their 2021 community impacts consultation and 2022 local refinements consultation.

A revised Development Consent Order (DCO) application was submitted by National Highways in October 2022 and the Planning Inspectorate has now decided to accept the application for examination.

The Planning Inspectorate will review the application and decide whether to recommend to the Secretary of State for Transport that permission is granted to National Highways to construct the scheme.

If National Highways' DCO application is successful, construction is intended to start in 2024 and last a total of 6 years. The Lower Thames Crossing is expected to have an opening year of 2030.

Full details of National Highways’ application along with further information on the Development Consent Order (DCO) process can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

Our position

Our position on the Lower Thames Crossing is set out in our Local Transport Plan 4: Delivering Growth without Gridlock 2016-2031, as adopted by County Council on the 13 July 2017.

Our response to National Highways’ latest consultation (local refinements consultation 2022) remained in support of the project but set out our concerns on several issues arising from the proposed crossing, including the:

  • lack of environmental information
  • impact on Shorne Woods Country Park
  • impact of the scheme on the local and strategic highway network
  • impact on existing road assets
  • impact on the construction workforce.