I have been asked by my Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State, to make this written ministerial statement. This statement concerns the application made by Transport for London under the Planning Act 2008, of 29 April 2016 for a proposed development known as Silvertown Tunnel.
The application will allow for the construction of a new twin bore road tunnel to pass under the River Thames, providing a new connection between the A102 Blackwall Tunnel Southern Approach and the Tidal Basin roundabout junction on the A1020 Lower Lea Crossing, London.
Under sub-section 107(1) of the Planning Act 2008, the Secretary of State must make his decision within 3 months of receipt of the examining authority’s report unless exercising the power under sub-section 107(3) to extend the deadline and make a statement to the House of Parliament announcing the new deadline. The Secretary of State received the examining authority’s report on Silvertown Tunnel on 11 July 2017 and the current deadline for a decision is 10 November 2017 having been extended from 11 October 2017 by way of my written ministerial statement of 11 October 2017 (HCWS153).
The deadline for the decision is to be extended to 10 May 2018 (an extension of 6 months) to enable further consideration of the effect of the scheme on air quality (including its compliance with 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.