THE Lower Thames Crossing public consultation has been cut short, causing anger and concern.

Thurrock Council has been forced to hold an extraordinary council meeting on December 11, nine days before the consultation was due to end.

This is because Highways England has told the council it now wants to see a report on the consultation responses by December 20.

Council leader Rob Gledhill said he was previously told that the response would not be needed until January.

He said: “The project director for Highways England had initially told me in a meeting before statutory consultation began that the council’s response could be submitted and would be accepted after January council. But yet again we see Highways England change the goal post at the last minute.

“Couple this with the significant changes Highways England throw in at the last minute, including little to no connectivity, admission it would be a motorway cutting the borough in half and ugly elevated sections further blighting the landscape, their awful plan went from bad to worse.

“This means that officers have had even less time to review the thousands of pages included in the consultation before developing our council response, information they were only given after it had opened.”