National Highways’ proposed Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (N.S.I.P), the much talked about Lower Thames Crossing which has now entered a new phase, as the proposals take a step forward from a long period of consultation and refinement, following the Road-Scheme’s conception in 2014.
28 days after National Highways’ made their Development Consent Order (D.C.O.) application for the proposed Lower Thames Crossing, the Planning Inspectorate accepted the application for assessment, and now begins a three-stage process of pre-examination, examination and recommendation which will ultimately determine if the Lower Thames Crossing gets the go-ahead.
BTF Partnership have been engaged with National Highways throughout the Scheme’s progress so far, acting on behalf the large majority of affected landowners, ranging from homeowners, varying farms and agricultural enterprises and private landowners, as well as a range of rural businesses situated between Cobham in North Kent, along the Scheme’s route to Upminster in Essex.
Throughout the various periods of consultation, as the Road’s details have been refined and discussed, BTF have encouraged early engagement with National Highways for all of their clients. For many clients this has been a valuable strategy to adopt, as BTF have been able to identify and highlight specific issues caused by the Road’s design and environmental mitigation proposals and in doing so, are working towards early agreements in multiple cases.
Joe Hearnden, Graduate Surveyor at BTF Partnership comments, “Early engagement with National Highways has provided certainty for our clients in a number of situations. The acquiring authority has been forthcoming in discussions on a range of matters, such as land-take, accommodation-works, business impacts and impacts on landowners retained assets. The products of these early negotiations will help to mitigate our clients’ losses, should the Secretary of State grant National Highways their D.C.O. and the compulsory purchase process commences – we hope that National Highways will honour the commitments they make.”
Now that the D.C.O. application has been accepted, it is important that all affected parties register their interests in any land and property which is to be affected. BTF are helping clients to review their affected interests and crucially, to register as Interested Parties in order to submit their representations.
If your property is affected by an infrastructure scheme, whether it is a road scheme, rail, utilities or otherwise, get in contact with BTF to discuss your options and how best to protect your assets.