Long awaited new bridge for Lowestoft gets the go-ahead
On 30 April 2020 the Secretary of State for Transport made the Lake Lothing (Lowestoft) Third Crossing Development Consent Order, approving the construction of a £90m new lifting bridge across Lake Lothing at the Port of Lowestoft to ease congestion in the town, address a bottleneck on the A47, and support a range of regeneration projects through ‘an iconic new work of architectural engineering’ with an ‘aspirational aesthetic’ design.
The Secretary of State was satisfied that the social and economic benefits of the new bridge would more than outweigh the ‘moderate’ operational impacts on the Port of Lowestoft, and would have made the Order even if the main objector, Associated British Ports had not ultimately reached a settlement agreement with Suffolk County Council.
The report of the Examining Authority recommending approval contains a detailed assessment of the concept of ‘serious detriment’ to statutory undertakers under s.127 of the Planning Act 2008, which ABP had unsuccessfully argued was an impediment to the scheme proceeding.
Michael Bedford QC acted for Suffolk County Council, instructed by Pinsent Masons.
The Secretary of State’s decision can be accessed here and the Examining Authority’s report can be accessed here.