CLA calls for greater protection for those affected by Lower Thames crossing

17 December 2013

    

The Department of Transport published a summary of the consultation regarding the project on Thursday 12 December.

It outlined that of the three options for the Crossing originally put forward, one would be dropped (option B, connecting the A2 with the A1089), two would move on to a further consultation (A, the site of the existing A282 Dartford–Thurrock crossing, and C, connecting the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30), along with another option (C variant, connecting the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30, and additionally widening the A229 between the M2 and the M20).

The Department said that a decision on these options and a final location will be made as soon as possible in the New Year. Outline design work has also got underway.

CLA South East Regional Director Robin Edwards said: “Current compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) do not provide adequate protection for property owners when the State has to acquire private land or property without consent for a project such as the Lower Thames Crossing.”

Mr Edwards said the CLA was urging the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to order an immediate and comprehensive review of compulsory purchase law for all private acquisitions.

“The inherent unfairness in the current system inevitably leads to conflict and delays increasing the costs for acquirers and those affected. We therefore urge the Government to consider again the recommendations set out in our report 'Fair Play: CLA vision for reform of the compulsory purchase system'.

“We believe a reformed compulsory purchase system must include the following key elements: a duty of care with an enforceable code of practice, fairer compensation provisions with greater emphasis on mitigation works, a property purchase guarantee scheme to deal effectively with blight, and the duty to take only the minimum amount of land permanently required and return any land that becomes surplus at any time.

“Our reform proposals set out an approach which would deliver a better balance between the interests of the parties, reduce conflict and lead to a better project that takes into account the impacts on those affected, and mitigate them better."

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Robin Edwards, CLA South East Regional Director:  01264 313434 / 07794 070536 or email robin.edwards@cla.org.uk

Out of hours: 020 7201 9511

 

ABOUT THE CLA:

 

  • The CLA has approximately 34,000 members.
  • CLA South East covers the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, East & West Sussex
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