The above forum met last week and whilst there has been no announcement regarding a proposed route, the following gives a rough outline of the timetable that Highways England are working to:
· The Preferred Route Announcement (PRA) – before 21st June (unless anything unforeseen intervenes);
· The design and development stage – approx. a 16 to 18 month period after the PRA;
· Statutory public consultation period of 6 weeks (the prescribed norm) after the design stage;
· The formal submission of the Development Consent Order to the Government (the Planning Inspectorate) – after the statutory consultation period and the holding of the public enquiry likely to last for 6 months; and
· After the close of the public enquiry, a further period for pins to submit their recommendation to the Secretary of State (3 months??), a further 3 months (??) for the secretary of State to decide, and then a further period of time to give the opportunity for any legal challenges.