Another step forward in town’s bid for long-awaited third crossing
- Credit: Archant
Another significant milestone has been reached in Lowestoft's bid for a long-awaited third crossing.
After a formal planning application was lodged last month, the project – which is expected to cost just under £92m – has moved another step closer with the planning application now being accepted by the Planning Inspectorate.
The plans for the Lake Lothing Third Crossing project were delivered to the government's Planning Inspectorate in July – and this approval of Suffolk County Council's application for the development consent order means that the next key stage of the project can begin.
As a project of national significance, it now has the involvement of the Planning Inspectorate and they will invite people and businesses to formally offer their views on the project, by registering as an 'interested party'.
Details of how to do this will be published on the Planning Inspectorate website and Suffolk County Council website shortly. People will have until September 24 to register.
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Matthew Hicks, leader of Suffolk County Council and cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, said: 'I'm really pleased that the project has reached this stage and is gaining momentum.
'The Planning Inspectorate will now start its engagement process, speaking with local residents and businesses in greater detail about the project in the coming months. The council is committed to delivering this project for the benefit of Lowestoft, Suffolk and beyond.'
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The Planning Inspectorate will now look to appoint an inspector and a preliminary meeting will be scheduled, along with a timetable for the next stage of the project. Anyone who has registered as an interested party will be notified of the meeting.
The following stage is the 'Examination Period', which will last up to six months. This is when interested parties are invited to provide more details of their views in writing, which will be carefully considered by the Examining Authority. The Planning Inspectorate will then submit its recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport, who will have three months to decide whether to grant or refuse development consent.
The crossing will link from the A12 via Waveney Drive on the south side of Lake Lothing, to Denmark Road and Peto Way on the north side, easing traffic congestion at the A47 Bascule Bridge and the Mutford Lock bridge in Oulton Broad.
If approved construction is due to start in late 2019/early 2020 with the bridge planned to be open by 2022.
Visit www.suffolk.gov.uk for more information on the Lake Lothing Third Crossing.