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 24 September 2018
From Howes Percival LLP on behalf of Overseas Interests Inc


We act for Overseas Interests Inc, Waveney Fork Trucks Limited, Lift Truck Rentals Limited, Nexen Lift Trucks Limited, Oakes Recruitment Limited, Team Oakes Limited and Hitech Grand Prix Limited. Separate representations have been made on behalf of each of our clients at this stage, although our client’s concerns are similar at this stage. We have previously engaged with Suffolk County Council and their legal representatives prior to the submission of the DCO application.

Overseas Interests Inc are the registered proprietors of land registered under title number SK264748 (“the Land”). A significant proportion of the Land falls within the draft Order limits as amended in April 2018. Waveney Fork Trucks Limited, Lift Truck Rentals Limited, Nexen Lift Trucks Limited, Oakes Recruitment Limited, Team Oakes Limited and Hitech Grand Prix Limited carry on various business activities on the Land.

At this stage, our clients’ primary concerns may be summarised as follows, although our clients fully intend to submit full written representations supported by technical reports in due course once the examination begins:

1 The operation of our clients’ site requires HGVs to turn left immediately upon entering the site and to pass the west side of the building to make use of the weighbridge. HGVs do not pass the south side of the building as this is the area in which the car park and main personnel access is situated. This arrangement is crucial to ensure that HGV movements do not conflict with car traffic. HGVs leaving the property will turn and follow a route around the northern and western sides of the building to again make use of the weighbridge and avoid any conflict with cars and pedestrians. Our clients’ consider that the positioning and alignment of the proposed Third River Crossing will severely interfere with our clients’ businesses.

2 We understand the only modelling that has taken place in relation to vehicle movements in and out of the Land once the scheme has been constructed is for rigid body vehicles whereas our clients need access to the property for larger articulated vehicles.

3 The extent of the land shown as required for permanent acquisition of land and rights on Land Plan Sheet 3 of 5 (1069948-WSP-LSI-LL-DR-GI-0004) shown as Plots 3-29 3-30 appears to create a high probability that the current approach for vehicular movements shall not be preserved, certainly during the construction period. Indeed, there is a lack of certainty on how any future gating arrangements for our clients’ property shall affect vehicle movements in and out of the property given the proposed permanent acquisition of land at the point of current access.

4 Our clients’ business operations depend heavily on meeting delivery deadlines for orders received and continued operation relies on customers having confidence in the ability of our clients to achieve these. Any interruption to continuous access to the property in the manner required threatens not only existing contracts but also future work. Interruption to continuous access has the potential to have severe consequences for our clients’ businesses.

5 The draft development consent order does not provide any details on how any permanent rights for our clients to access the Land shall be secured in perpetuity and how these rights may be affected or interfered with during the construction phase or subsequently for maintenance or for access to the structures erected as part of the proposed project.

6 There is no evidence that our clients’ businesses will not be severely and irreparably affected by the construction and on-going operation of the proposed project (to the point of extinguishment or relocation) or that Suffolk County Council has suitably investigated alternative access solutions. Our clients have serious concerns about the continued operation of their businesses during the construction period.

7 Although plan 1069948-WSP-HML-LL-DR-CH-0201 indicates a minimum headroom of 5.3 metres for the proposed underpass to access the Land once the proposed project has been constructed this does not cater for all of the vehicles which our clients need to access the Land (notwithstanding our clients’ concerns regarding access during the construction period). These vehicles include a Yale GDP160 diesel fork truck (closed height on a special step frame low-loader for road transport: 5465mm) and a SMV SL37 top loader container handler (closed height on the ground: 6200mm and Maximum width of machine: 6030mm). The vehicles in question are laden container handling machines and large counter balance machines. These vehicles need to access our clients’ site between 15 – 20 times per year. Our clients anticipate that “de-masting” these vehicles either side of the proposed bridge shall result in significant cost which our clients shall have to incur in perpetuity as a result of the proposed project in connection with local short term movements of such equipment, if indeed our clients can continue to suitably operate from the property as a result of the proposed project.

8 We have concerns that alternative alignments of the proposed project and different access solutions to our clients’ Land have not been suitably considered prior to submission of the DCO application.

9 Our clients remain willing and open to adjustments to the proposed project to deal with our clients concerns but at this stage we have no comfort that this shall be possible within the limits of deviation of the submitted scheme.

10 Our clients have not been given comfort that alternative access solutions to our clients’ Land have been fully explored as solutions to our clients’ concerns. Particularly our clients consider that an access along the eastern edge of the land owned by PFK Ling Limited has not been suitably considered before the submission of the DCO application.

11 The area identified as Plot 3-56 on the Land Plan Sheet 3 of 5 (1069948-WSP-LSI-LL-DR-GI-0004) has been identified as an area of the Land identified for temporary acquisition. There is no explanation given in the draft DCO as to why this area of land has been so identified.

12 This Plot 3-56 is an area of the Land which our clients have long identified for future development proposals. Our clients have real concerns that the proposed temporary acquisition of this Plot 3-56 shall stifle these development aspirations and the construction of the proposed project shall impact on these proposals in the future. This is particularly so without any details of why this area of land is proposed to be temporarily acquired, the specification of works that Suffolk County Council intends to carry out on this area of land or any indication as to how long the temporary acquisition of this part of our clients’ property shall endure.

13 Our clients have a real concern that the area identified as Plot 3-56 shall be effectively severed due to the gating and access requirements of our clients’ existing businesses – notwithstanding our concerns as to whether these may be suitably accommodated in light of the proposed project. Indeed, our clients have concerns that any joint access arrangements between our clients’ existing business operations and the proposed development land using the proposed underpass set out in the submitted scheme would be potentially unsound from a highway safety perspective, practically unworkable and be contrary to our clients’ established practice of separating HGV and car traffic/pedestrians as far as possible.

14 Our client Overseas Interests Inc has private property rights to use estate road shown as Plots 3-57 and 3-32 on the Land Plan Sheet 3 of 5 (1069948-WSP-LSI-LL-DR-GI-0004) and it appears that the proposed project shall frustrate the beneficial use of these rights, particularly to facilitate the development of the area identified as Plot 3-56 referred to above. Indeed, submitted plan 1069948-WSP-HAC-LL-DR-CH-0003 identifies this private means of access to Riverside Road as being stopped up as part of the proposed project which would frustrate a separate access to our clients’ proposed development land using this route.

15 Our clients also note that the land identified as Plot 3-52 on the Land Plan Sheet 3 of 5 (1069948-WSP-LSI-LL-DR-GI-0004) and Work No. 7 on the Works Plan Sheet 2 of 2 (1069948-WSP-LSI-LL-DR-CH-0003) is identified in the draft development consent order for the construction of a new mooring within Lowestoft Harbour. Our clients’ have previously leased moorings adjacent to the Land and are concerned that this will not be practically possible during and following the construction of this new mooring. Furthermore, our clients have reservations about the ability to access their Land from Lake Lothing during and following the construction of this mooring. Our clients also have concerns relating to the powers set out in the draft DCO for the extinguishment of various rights of navigation within Lake Lothing.