Lake Lothing third crossing scheme ‘ever closer’ to becoming reality
- Credit: Archant
'We are getting ever closer to the first spade going into the ground to make this bridge a reality.'
That was the reaction of Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks as the examination period into a long-awaited third crossing in Lowestoft is almost complete.
The progress of Lowestoft's Lake Lothing third crossing is detailed in the latest county council community newsletter.
With the government authority responsible for overseeing projects of national importance starting its examination into the Lake Lothing Third Crossing application process in December last year, the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) is continuing its six-month examination into Suffolk County Council's proposed project.
This is nearly complete, with the Planning Inspectorate due to start writing its report and recommendation in June to the Secretary of State.
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Between September and December this year, the Secretary of State will make the decision on whether to grant or refuse development consent for the much-needed crossing to be built, meaning a final decision should be known in December 2019.
Mr Hicks said: 'We are now in March, meaning we are halfway through one of the final stages of this crucial project.
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'We are getting ever closer to the first spade going into the ground to make this bridge a reality.
'In June, the current Public Examination period will close and by September the Planning Inspectorate will have submitted their report and recommendation to the Secretary of State. This means, all being well, we will hear news from the Secretary of State in December when they will approve the construction of the crossing.
'With projects of national importance such as this, they are years in the planning; there is much policy and procedure to follow, which is set out by the government. So from the moment of the first idea to construction being complete, these schemes take a significant amount of time.
'Considering that Suffolk County Council submitted the Outline Business Case for the third crossing in December 2015, it really does feel that we are now sprinting down the home straight to the finish line.'
The county council leader added: 'We continue to look forward to the bridge being open and that reality gets closer every week.'
Visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/lakelothing3rdcrossing for further details.