Published: 13:49, 06 April 2021
| Updated: 07:10, 07 April 2021
Highways bosses have missed a deadline pledge to resubmit plans for the controversial new Lower Thames Crossing.
The team behind the project told Dartford councillors last December they expected to put in new plans at Easter after withdrawing its original bid at the eleventh hour following feedback from the Planning Inspectorate.
But four months later, there is no sign of the plans being resubmitted with Highways England saying the revised application will be sent in "as soon as possible" without committing to a timescale.
In the latest update provided by Sarah Walker, Highways England head of communications for complex infrastructure programmes, she said it was likely to be submitted "later this year".
She added: "It's been a really busy time for the project as we continue to work hard to submit our revised planning application later this year.
"We're absolutely determined to bring you these benefits as soon as possible so it's essential we continue to maintain momentum on the project.
"We initially submitted our planning application back in October which we then withdrew following some feedback from the Planning Inspectorate.
"They have asked us to provide some more information on some technical elements of our application.
"We're busy bringing this information together but we also see this as a great opportunity to strengthen our application as we continue to work with key stakeholders to make the Lower Thames Crossing the best it can possibly be."
It is estimated the £8.2bn tunnel and road network between Kent – located east of Gravesend – and Essex would take 13 million journeys per year away from the Dartford Crossing.
The 14-mile toll road linking the A2 with the M25 and A13 is planned to open in 2027.
The Planning Inspectorate flagged six areas which needed to be addressed before the planning application could be considered.
Elements related to construction traffic management, using the river to ease congestion, site waste management, a more robust assessment of the impact to habitats caused by the project, long-term environmental mitigation and impact to grass and woodland spaces and feedback over the way HE had carried out its consultations leading to the submission of plans.
A spokesman for Highways England said all elements of the feedback were being addressed before resubmitting a "stronger application as soon as possible".