Plans to build a new river crossing in Lowestoft will move a step further forward next week.
On 17 May, Suffolk County Council's Cabinet will discuss the proposed investment of £20million to enable initial detailed development for both the Lowestoft crossing and a similar crossing project in Ipswich. The investment into these two large and complex transport infrastructure projects will be allocated over the next three years.
The proposed investment follows the Government announcement in March confirming funding to support the cost of delivering the third Lowestoft river crossing. The county council funding will be used to carry out work to progress planning requirements ahead of a potential building start date anticipated in 2019/20.
The money will come from Suffolk County Council as follows; £10m through its revenue funding budget and £10m through its capital funding budget. The money will be broadly spread across both the Lowestoft and Ipswich programmes of required work over the next three years as follows:
The Government has committed in principle to funding £73.39m towards the Lake Lothing crossing, which has a total estimated cost of around £91.73m. This is in addition to a contribution of £77.546m towards the Ipswich Wet Dock crossing which has an estimated total cost of £96.649m. This means that there is a local capital budget contribution of around £37.4m required for each project.
The £10m of revenue funding that Suffolk County plans to invest at this time will be used to carry out work towards acquiring the necessary consents required to build both schemes and to develop the final business case required for each project. This includes costs related to planning applications, consultations, economic modelling and environmental assessments.
Waveney District Council Leader Cllr Colin Law said:
"This announcement of considerable initial funding for the Lowestoft crossing project is very good news and underlines the local commitment to delivering the scheme. The Government has already given the green light with over £77 million promised for the project and with the remainder of the cost to come from Suffolk, this now really gets the ball rolling and moves the project on to a new and exciting phase."
Cllr Colin Noble, Leader of Suffolk County Council said:
"To unlock the central Government contribution towards these important regional projects we need to invest in developing a final business case that demonstrates we have successfully completed all aspects of the statutory planning process; this will include detailed designs that will have been fully approved through consultation with our communities in Lowestoft and Ipswich.
"These two crossing development schemes will unlock so much potential in the communities in and around Lowestoft and Ipswich; benefitting the wider East Anglia region, not just Suffolk. With a growing population and significant investment in Suffolk from business, the development of these projects will ensure that the county is capable of supporting further infrastructure development, including provision for future homes, education, health care and job creation."