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.


Received 08 January 2018
From Winckworth Sherwood LLP on behalf of Port of London Authority


The Port of London Authority (“PLA”) is the statutory body responsible for the conservancy of the River Thames (“the river”) and the administration of navigation on, and works and dredging in, under or over, the river. Its area of jurisdiction and regulatory powers are mainly in the Port of London Act 1968 (“the 1968 Act”), with further legislative provision made in Harbour Revision Orders made between 1975 and 2015. The area of the river affected by the proposed Order is within the PLA’s jurisdiction and the vast majority of the affected riverbed is owned by the PLA, with a very limited area belonging to the Crown.

The Order limits extend into the river. They include the land required for the proposed Works Nos. 1 and 2 (permanent acquisition of land). Also included is an area of the river, surrounding that land, of which it is proposed temporary possession could be taken. The proposed extended port limits (which would be brought within the Port of Tilbury) include a lesser, but different, river area surrounding the works.

The Applicant (“POTLL”) is the PLA’s statutory successor as harbour authority for the Port of Tilbury and by virtue of the Port of Tilbury Transfer Scheme 1991 Confirmation Order 1992 certain of the powers of the 1968 Act are exercisable by POTLL in relation to its harbour undertaking. The effect of the extension of the port limits would be that those powers would for the first time be exercisable within the river, where POTLL’s area of jurisdiction would overlap the PLA’s.

In addition to dredging for construction purposes, the Order includes power (article 43) for POTTL to dredge the river and foreshore for the purpose of maintaining and operating the authorised development. Under the 1968 Act such dredging is currently under the sole control of the PLA.

Compulsory acquisition of land and the proposed temporary possession powers (articles 32 and 33) are under discussion with POTLL).

The effect of the proposed powers on private rights (and in particular privately owned navigational aids) and on navigation after construction has yet to be assessed fully by the PLA.

The full implications of overlapping jurisdiction, the impact on the PLA of the proposed byelaws applying in the extended port (article 45 and Schedule 7), the proposed dredging powers and the adequacy of the proposed protection in paragraph 31 of Schedule 10 to the Order in relation to these matters are all under discussion with POTLL.

The PLA is seeking to agree with POTLL detailed amendments to the draft Order in respect of these and other matters. It is hopeful that agreement will be reached.
Environmental issues that have been identified include potential impacts on the river regime and existing river works, the impacts of proposed dredging, cumulative effects and mitigation. The environmental issues may require additional protections.

The level of impact on existing river users is a concern.

The proposals also raise financial concerns, in particular regarding the treatment of arisings from dredging the PLA’s river bed.