And we're back!
Started by Josquius, February 20, 2016, 07:46:34 AM
Total Members Voted: 98
QuoteThe tunnel trapped in £300m planning limbo for 15 years and still not startedExclusiveThe planning application for the Lower Thames Crossing already adds up to 359,866 pagesAn artist's impression of the northern entrance to the proposed Lower Thames Crossing (Photo: Joas Souza)author avatar imageBy Hugo GyePolitical EditorFebruary 6, 2024 6:00 pm(Updated 7:01 pm)A state-owned company has spent nearly £300m filling out a planning application to build a 14-mile road, official figures have revealed.The Lower Thames Crossing, connecting Essex and Kent, was first proposed by the government 15 years ago and has not yet begun construction.National Highways revealed in a Freedom of Information response that the application for planning permission has cost it £297m so far, separate to any future building costs.The revelation has sparked fresh calls for an overhaul of how the UK's infrastructure planning operates to make it easier to build new roads and other transport facilities.The "development consent order" consists of 2,383 different documents adding up to a total of 359,866 pages, although National Highways says that many of these are duplicates or revisions of the original submissionPro-growth campaign group Britain Remade has calculated that if laid end to end, the application would extend for 66 miles – five times longer than the actual road.The cost of the planning documents equals nearly four times the amount spent on the ongoing Covid inquiry so far, and is more than half the average cost of building a hospital.The Lower Thames Crossing is intended to relieve pressure on the Dartford Crossing, currently the main route between Essex and Kent.It would involve digging a 2.4-mile tunnel under the Thames, further downriver than any existing crossing, and would connect to the M25 at its northern extent and the M2 to the south.The overall cost of the project is now estimated at £8.3bn, nearly 50 per cent more expensive than originally thought, with construction due to begin in two years' time with a target completion date of 2031.Sam Richards of Britain Remade told i: "Britain Remade fully backs the plans for the Lower Thames Crossing, but spending £300m just on a planning application is simply astonishing. But unfortunately this is set to increase further thanks to our dysfunctional planning system."For the hundreds of millions of pounds one part of government is paying another part of government for permission to build the Lower Thames Crossing, Norway could build the longest and deepest road tunnels and have change left over."The Lower Thames Crossing is symbolic of what is wrong with our planning system. From multiple rounds of consultation to last minute government delays for no good reason, currently it's simply far too difficult and takes far too long to get anything built in Britain."Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has promised to streamline the planning system for infrastructure projects in future. A Government spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Mark Bottomley, the Lower Thams Crossing's development director, said: "The Lower Thames Crossing will provide a vital new transport route to help grow the UK economy and improve the journeys of millions of people every year by tackling congestion on the Dartford Crossing."We understand that for many the new road is needed urgently and the length of time which goes into the planning can be frustrating. However it is vital that a project of the size and complexity of the Lower Thames Crossing goes through a rigorous, democratic planning process that makes sure we take every opportunity to maximise the benefits and reduce the impact on local communities and the environment."A Government spokesman said: "We are already reforming the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects to make the process of delivering new infrastructure faster and easier, and we consulted on proposals for operational reform last year. We will be publishing the response to our consultation soon."
Quote from: Josquius on February 06, 2024, 02:35:42 PMThat is another mad thing in the UK. State owned companies that don't get any special advantages for being state owned.
Quote from: Sheilbh on February 06, 2024, 02:39:39 PMQuote from: Josquius on February 06, 2024, 02:35:42 PMThat is another mad thing in the UK. State owned companies that don't get any special advantages for being state owned.Well that is broadly a core principle of the rule of law and generally a good thing.
Quote from: Josquius on February 06, 2024, 02:35:42 PMI've heard of the lower thames crossing a lot before but I imagine many haven't.It's fascinating hs2 gets so much hate and fuss but this one is largely just left to get on with its far more environmentally destructive and substantially less useful ballooning budget
Quote from: Sheilbh on February 06, 2024, 02:39:01 PMYeah Also £300 million and 15 years before construction even starts I also feel like "many of these are duplicates or revisions of the original submission" isn't the defence National Highways maybe feels it is on the 2,500+ plus documents they've had to file (obviously I get that as they're going through this process they can't criticise it in public but still). "Don't worry - much of this work is both expensive and redundant!"
Quote from: Josquius on February 06, 2024, 02:42:56 PMDisagree massively.If the state is building projects it shouldn't have to go through the routine of companies. It should have people directly on staff.And this organisation should then have a hot line to their bosses, the ones asking for this project - and with the power to make it happen.
QuoteWonder how much of that money went into lining the pockets of family and friends.
Quote from: HVC on February 06, 2024, 03:44:33 PMDo these law firms have connections to the lawyers? If so I'd classify that as friends
QuoteI may be clouded by the NA experience, but when costs and timelines expanded like this it's usually corruption and organized crime. Sending in the same paperwork multiple times but charging for each occurrence is a red flag here.
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