Silvertown Tunnel NSIP decision delayed by government air quality plan

A decision on plans for a new road tunnel in east London has been postponed by the government so that it can further consider responses to its national air quality plan.

Transport minister Paul Maynard
Transport minister Paul Maynard

An application for the Silvertown Tunnel is being considered by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) under the fast-track development consent order regime for major infrastructure projects.

Under the regime, the three-month deadline for a ministerial decision on the tunnel, from the point the government received PINS' examination report on the application, was due today.

However, transport minister Paul Maynard said this morning that the deadline for the decision is to be extended by one month to 10 November.

He said this was due to the consultation on the government’s air quality strategy, which was published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in July and aims to reduce levels of pollutant nitrogen dioxide.

Maynard said: "This extension is to enable further consideration of the recent responses to the secretary of state consultations on the scheme which relate to the updated UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations published by government on 26 July 2017". 

"The decision to set a new deadline is without prejudice to the decision on whether to give development consent."

The tunnel proposals, brought forward by mayoral body Transport for London, seek to deliver a twin bore road tunnel under the River Thames between Silvertown and north Greenwich. 

The full statement can be read here.

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