Lake Lothing Third Crossing

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

Lake Lothing Third Crossing

Received 21 September 2018
From Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP (Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP) on behalf of Statuslist Limited

Representation

We act on behalf of Statuslist Limited (“Statuslist”) in relation to The Lake Lothing Third Crossing Development Consent Order (“the DCO”) which is being promoted by Suffolk County Council (“the Council”) as part of the Council’s scheme involving the construction, operation and maintenance of a new bascule bridge highway crossing linking the areas north and south of Lake Lothing in Lowestoft, hereafter referred to as the Lake Lothing Third
Crossing (“the Scheme”).

On 15 August 2018, Statuslist were served notice by the Secretary of State under Section 56 of the Planning Act 2008 (the “2008 Act”) confirming that the Council’s application for the DCO submitted in June 2018 has been accepted.

We have set out below in summary Statuslist’s formal representations in response to the DCO.

Statuslist is the registered proprietor of freehold land located on the North Side of Waveney Down, Lowestoft under Title Number SK96107 (“the Land”). The Land is currently subject to a leasehold interest under Title Number SK97321, the registered proprietor of which is Rentokil Initial (1896) Limited.

The Land is currently vacant but was formally used for industrial and warehousing purposes and is intended to be subject to future comprehensive commercial and residential development.

Part 1 of the Book of Reference to the DCO refers to Statuslist’s interest in the Land under Plots 3-16, 3-40, 3-41, 3-59, 4-01, 4-02, 4-03, 4-04 and 4-05, as shown on the Plans that accompany the DCO. Part 1 of the Book of Reference to the DCO confirms that the Council propose to permanently acquire a proportion of the Land comprised in plots 4-02 and 3-40 for the provision of a new access road (the “New Access Road”), together with permanent creation and acquisition of new ancillary rights of access across Plots 3-41 and 4-05 (the “Rights”). In addition, the Council proposes to temporarily acquire part of the Land comprised in Plots 3-16, 3-59, 4-0 and 4-04 for use during the construction of the New Access Road.

At the outset of these representations, we wish to make clear that Statuslist does not object to the principle of the Scheme and considers that the provision of the Third Crossing is likely to bring economic and social benefits to Lowestoft and the wider region.

However, Statuslist is very concerned about the impact of the New Access Road, and associated permanent and temporary acquisition of the relevant parts of the Land and Rights, will have on Statuslist’s own use and future development plans for the Land.

Statuslist therefore makes these representations in respect of the DCO.

1. Location and design of the New Access Road

Statuslist is concerned that the Council has failed to demonstrate that the use of the Land is in fact required for the New Access Road. There is no evidence that the Council has considered alternative options that would not impact on the Land or, if such options have been considered, the reasons why they have been rejected.

The position of the New Access Road as shown in the Design Report (page 107) of the documents accompanying the DCO is not considered optimal.

The New Access Road will bisect the Land and will impact on the current and future use of the Land by Statuslist. In particular, Statuslist is concerned that the position of the proposed New Access Road will materially reduce the density of development capable of being achieved on the Land on a permanent basis.

The industrial and commercial use of land located to the west of the Land requires access for a car transporter (amongst other things). However, this will have a negative effect on the Land, as it significantly increases the road geometry requirements, over and above what would normally be required for emergency or servicing vehicles. This is not only “land hungry”, requiring a greater area of land to be acquired from Statuslist by the Council, diminishing the level of development quantum capable of being achieved on the Land, but also impacts on the character of the road design and the types of frontage development likely to be achieved. Both of these factors are detrimental to the future use and development of the Land.

Statuslist has submitted previous design and location options for the New Access Road to the Council for consideration, which it considers would be optimal, balancing the provision of suitable access for the purposes of the Scheme whilst minimising the negative impact on the use of the Land. Unfortunately, the alternative design proposals submitted have not been accepted by the Council. As a result, Statuslist continues to have serious concerns as to the permanent impact of the New Access Road on the use of the Land.

It is considered that the route proposed for the New Access Road by the Council will inhibit the future use of the Land and will negatively impact on the design and density of development capable of being undertaken on the Land. The end result is that the location and design of the New Access Road is not optimum and should be reconsidered as part of the DCO process, with the alternative routes proposed by Statuslist evaluated and adopted by the Council as part of the Scheme.

2. Traffic impact on the use of the Land arising from the New Access Road

Statuslist is concerned that the New Access Road is likely to give rise to an increase in traffic flows on the route to the Third Crossing, including HGV and other commercial traffic, both as part of the construction works and accessing the neighbouring commercial development.

It appears that the design of the New Access Road will comprise an ‘Avenue’ design with single carriageway street, deciduous tree planting and wide pavements of approximately 4 metres either side of the road, including a segregated cycle lane. The maximum speed limit will be limited to 30 mph.

It is noted that the Draft Design Guidance Manual enclosed with the DCO provides that “The new Access Road must provide an adaptable design to accommodate adjacent development in the future. Future development in this area could comprise commercial/residential, requiring careful consideration as the most appropriate solution for these land uses.”

Statuslist is concerned that that the New Access Road will bring increased through traffic, most significantly HGVs and other commercial traffic, through the Land, which will limit the options for the use and development of those areas of the Land fronting onto the New Access Road. In this respect, the requirements of the above Guidance will not be satisfied and a negative impact on the use of the Land will inevitably result.

This gives rise to serious concerns regarding the potential negative impact the New Access Road will have on the future use of the Land and, in particular, proposed future residential and commercial development.


3. Temporary acquisition of Plots 3-16, 3-59, 4-0 and 4-04 for the New Access Road

It is understood that the above plots are proposed to be temporarily acquired by the Council for the purposes of use during the construction of the New Access Road and wider Scheme. The temporary use will include the erection of a construction compound within Plot 3-16.

Statuslist is seriously concerned that the temporary acquisition of the relevant plots will have a detrimental impact on the use of those parts of the Land as part of its own use and development of the Land.

In particular, it is anticipated that the temporary acquisition would negatively impact on the phasing of and timescales for carrying out such development and could in a worst case scenario preventdevelopment altogether.

It is imperative that the temporary use of the relevant parts of the Land is only consented where any adverse impact on the use and development of the Land are avoided, or minimised to the greatest extent possible.

4. Disruption during construction of the Scheme

In addition to the adverse impacts following completion of the Scheme, it is important to note the significant problems that will arising during the construction of the Scheme.

During the construction of the New Access Road and wider Scheme, it is likely that there will be widespread disruption on and in the vicinity of the Land. The timescales are also likely to coincide with Statuslist’s own timeframe for the development of the Land. There is every potential that the undertaking of the works, and associated temporary possession of the relevant plots during that period, will restrict and negatively impact on Statuslist’s use of the Land.

It is clearly essential that the timescale for the Scheme and methods of working employed do not interfere with or prevent the use and development of the Land.

5. Impact on utilities and infrastructure

The design and construction of the New Access Road will impact on the utilities and other infrastructure currently serving the Land and those required as part of any development proposals brought forward in the future. It is not clear the extent to which the impact on such services has been factored into the design and phasing of works for the New Access Road if at all. Statuslist is concerned that failure in this regard will negatively impact on the use of the Land and may restrain or prohibit development of the Land in the future.


Conclusion

In conclusion, it is clear that the DCO and the Scheme gives rise to a range of legitimate concerns that are required to be addressed as part of the examination and approval process. Statuslist has raised such concerns during the consultation stage and has previously put forward alternative proposals for the location and design of the New Access Road that would mitigate the impact on the Land. Statuslist is concerned that such concerns have not been addressed by the Council and that the alternative design proposals submitted have not been properly considered.

In particular, there are serious concerns regarding the location, design, capacity of the New Access Road and the potential detrimental impact on the use and future development of the Land.In addition, the temporary possession of the relevant plots (Plots 3-16, 3-59, 4-0 and 4-04) is also of concern.

In light of this, Statuslist consider that the requirement for the Council to demonstrate that there is a compelling case in the public interest which justifies the acquisition of the relevant plots forming part of the Land sought to be acquired is not satisfied.