Land owners face river crossing hit

Southend Standard: Stephen Metcalfe Stephen Metcalfe

FEARS have been raised landowners in the path of the new Lower Thames Crossing route could lose out due to the “unfair”

way the Government buys land.

And Nicola Currie, the regional director for the Country Land and Business Association, said the use of compulsory purchase orders could cause more delays.

Her concerns come as South Basildon and East Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe said he was “disappointed” the Government had not dropped option C.

Last Thursday, transport secretary Patrick McCloughlin announced option B, which would have carved through land east of Grays and west of Tilbury docks, had been scrapped.

Option A would see another crossing built next to the current Dartford-Thurrock crossing and OptionCwould use land between Coalhouse and Tilbury forts, travelling north towards the Orsett Cock junction of the A13, before meeting the M25 between junctions 29 and 30.

Mr Metcalfe said: “I am of course disappointed Option C was not discarded in response to the consultation. I do not believe either Option C, or A, are the right ones.”

Meanwhile Mrs Currie warned: “Current compulsory purchase orders 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.”

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