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Lowestoft’s Third Crossing approved by Government

PUBLISHED: 12:51 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:17 30 April 2020

Visualisations of the proposed third crossing in Lowestoft. Photo: Suffolk County Council

Visualisations of the proposed third crossing in Lowestoft. Photo: Suffolk County Council

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Lowestoft’s bid for a third crossing over Lake Lothing has been given the green light, five years after plans were first outlined.

Then-Prime Minister David Cameron with conservative MP Peter Aldous looking over the bascule bridge. PHOTO: Nick ButcherThen-Prime Minister David Cameron with conservative MP Peter Aldous looking over the bascule bridge. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft’s bid for a third crossing over Lake Lothing has been given the green light, five years after plans were first outlined.

Suffolk County Council’s ambition to build the third crossing was officially approved by transport secretary Grant Shapps in a letter to the council on Thursday, April 30.

Council leader Matther Hicks said: “We now have the seal of planning approval to build a third crossing for Lowestoft, which is very good news.

“The crossing can make a significant difference as we continue to invest in the area. I’m confident that people will see positive changes, from their daily commute to the wider regeneration of the area.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous along with Mark Bee and Matthew Hicks with the 14 boxes of documents that contain the planning application for the Lowestoft Third Crossing. Picture: Nick ButcherWaveney MP Peter Aldous along with Mark Bee and Matthew Hicks with the 14 boxes of documents that contain the planning application for the Lowestoft Third Crossing. Picture: Nick Butcher

“The planning decision is a credit to those in our project team who have been driving this ambition. It has been a very detailed application process, which began with our outline business case back in December 2015.

“I’d also like to thank the people of Lowestoft for their overwhelming support.”

The confirmation comes following a year-long Development Consent Order process, with SCC hoping to open the bridge in 2022.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: “This is a very exciting announcement, I’m extremely pleased for all those involved, for everyone who lives and works around Lowestoft.

Cllr Matthew Hicks. PHOTO: Suffolk County CouncilCllr Matthew Hicks. PHOTO: Suffolk County Council

“It can offer so much more than an alternative route across Lowestoft, as local businesses can bid for work as part of the construction supply chain, schools will be involved, and new jobs will be created.

“The Third Crossing can also be the foundation stone on which we can build an ambitious, compelling and sustainable post Covid-19 local economy.”

READ MORE: Why Suffolk’s future road improvements rely so heavily on a bridge in Lowestoft

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A decision on the project had been due in December 2019, but was initially delayed due to the General Election, before Brexit and the coronavirus outbreak held up the verdict further.

Councillor Hicks said: “This is a significant step forward, and we will continue to make good progress behind the scenes in these unprecedented and challenging times.

“The tender period for construction contractors comes to an end later in May and we are concluding our final business case to access the funding from the government.”

READ MORE: Long-awaited Third Crossing dream dates back 100 years

Visualisations of the Lake Lothing Third Crossing. PHOTO: Suffolk County CouncilVisualisations of the Lake Lothing Third Crossing. PHOTO: Suffolk County Council

A report will now be prepared for the council’s cabinet ahead of a meeting in July to consider the detail of the planning permission, the outcome of the construction tendering proccess, the final project cost estimate and the timetable for the project.

The bridge will also be named in the meeting in July, with councillors choosing a construction contractor, completing the final business case for the Department for Transport and seeking permission to access the Government’s money to start building work.

East Suffolk Council leader Steve Gallant said: “I am absolutely delighted that the transport secretary has confirmed planning approval to build a third crossing for Lowestoft.

“East Suffolk Council, following our predecessor Waveney District Council, has fought tirelessly for many years to reach this point and the hard work of our councillors and officers as part of a wider project team is now being rewarded.

Visualisations of the Lake Lothing Third Crossing. PHOTO: Suffolk County CouncilVisualisations of the Lake Lothing Third Crossing. PHOTO: Suffolk County Council

“But most importantly, this is for the people of Lowestoft who know better than anyone how important the bridge will be, not only by easing traffic through the town, but also as a catalyst to unleash its economic potential.

“There is a bigger picture here - and with East Suffolk Council currently leading Lowestoft’s bid for a chunk of the Government’s £1.6 billion Towns Fund, we strongly believe that the town has a genuinely exciting future.

“This announcement underlines that view and this is a landmark day for us all.”

The project was handed a major boost in April after Associated British Ports (ABP) withdrew their long-standing objections to the proposal.

ABP had feared the development would have a detrimental impact on offshore wind employment, as well as concerns surrounding port operations and marine safety, but wrote to Mr Shapps after reaching an agreement with SCC.


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