Client for the Lower Thames Crossing project, Highways England has withdrawn its Development Consent Order (DCO) from the UK’s Planning Inspectorate. The surprise announcement comes after Highways England invited tenders for its largest ever contract, the £2bn package to build the longest road tunnel in Britain that sits at the heart of project, in the form of 4.3km long twin tubes built by two 16m+ diameter TBMs.
A Highways England spokesperson told TJ: “Our Development Consent order is one of the most complex planning applications ever developed. We submitted it in October, but withdrew the application following early feedback we had from the Planning Inspectorate. We’re now taking time to collate the information required for the specific points raised and will be resubmitting the application early in the new year.”
“The case for the project is as strong as ever and our plans have not changed. We’re moving ahead as planned with the procurement of our three main works contracts.”