Third Crossing objector withdraws concerns after agreement with council
PUBLISHED: 11:57 21 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:27 21 April 2020
A long-awaited third crossing in Lowestoft has edged nearer after a major objector has withdrawn its concerns.
Associated British Ports (ABP) had objected to the Lake Lothing Third Crossing proposal amid fears the development would have a detrimental impact on offshore wind employment, as well as concerns surrounding port operations and marine safety.
However, ABP has written to the Secretary of State for Transport to formally withdraw its objections after reaching an agreement with Suffolk County Council (SCC) addressing the concerns.
Andrew Harston, ABP regional director for Wales and short sea ports, said: “We are pleased that we have reached an agreement with Suffolk County Council which addresses the impact the crossing would have on port operations upstream.
“ABP’s focus will now turn to planning for further development of the port, focussing on the Outer Harbour, so that we can continue to work with our partners to pursue Lowestoft’s considerable development potential, especially in the exciting offshore energy sector, thereby continuing to create jobs and fuel the local economy.”
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ABP’s ports in Lowestoft, King’s Lynn and Ipswich contribute £360m to the UK economy every year.
Matthew Hicks, leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “We have successfully worked together to come to this agreement.
“The removal of ABP’s statutory objection to the Lake Lothing Third Crossing proposal is a positive development for the project.”
Recommendations on the project were submitted to the Department for Transport by the Planning Inspectorate on September 5, with the transport secretary given until December 5 to make a decision.
However, this was delayed due to the General Election, with government dissolved from November 6.
At the time, a spokesperson for SCC said they anticipated “a short interruption”, with construction expected to begin almost immediately upon the green light and the bridge hoped to open in 2022.
In March, Waveney MP Peter Aldous said he was hopeful for a “reasonably quick decision”, amid fears Brexit and Coronavirus were further delaying the project.
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