This is our new website design - it's a work in progress. Tell us what you think

Major infrastructure and projects

The population of Essex is growing and there are a number of major infrastructure projects planned to support growth. Essex is also host to a number of nationally significant airports, sea ports, railways and roads.

As well as impacting on local services, major development has an impact on regional and even national networks such as road and rail. In response to growth Essex County Council works with a number of stakeholders and plays an active role in Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects affecting the area.

The County Council, through its Spatial Planning team, represent the interests of Essex during the consultation process and seeks to influence major infrastructure projects at all stages.

Major Highway Projects

Essex Highways are a partnership between Essex County Council and Ringway Jacobs that are responsible for delivering a number of major improvement schemes as well as maintaining existing roads in Essex.

Lower Thames River Crossing

Consideration is being given to alternative potential routes for a third Thames River crossing between Essex and Kent. The crossing might necessitate further measures, such as traffic re-routing and junction improvements. One such example is substantial improvements for Fairglen Interchange (A13 / A130 / A127).


The first phase of Crossrail is nearing completion and will serve parts of Essex as far as Shenfield, providing fast and convenient links westwards through London and beyond. Crossrail 2 is under consideration, with the potential to serve Harlow and south Essex.

London Gateway (DP World)

The London Gateway is a new deep sea container port. It is expanding further with a third ship berth under development, supported by the existing major logistics hub.

Harwich International Port

Harwich Port has planning consent to expand substantially through the Bathside Bay development (also known as Harwich International Container Terminal). The timing for implementing this is uncertain as a time extension, to 2021, for commencing work has been granted. The development is linked to improvements for the A120.

London Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport produced the final version of its Sustainable Development Plan in 2015 to guide and explain the future sustainable growth of the airport, making more efficient use of the existing runway. Among other growth targets, the airport plans to grow its annual use to 40 to 45 million customers per year within the existing airport boundary.

London Southend Airport

Since planning permission for a new terminal and railway station was granted in 2010, Southend Airport has grown significantly and now offers a wide range of flights to European cities and holiday destinations.

Bradwell Nuclear Power Station

Bradwell A, the original ‘Magnox’ nuclear power station, is no longer operational and is proceeding through a long-term decommissioning process. In July 2011, Government identified Bradwell ‘B’ as one of eight potential sites for new nuclear power stations to be developed in England and Wales before the end of 2025.

The proposal is identified within the Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy (NPS EN-1) and the National Policy Statements for Nuclear Power Generation NPS - EN6 (and Annexe).

New Garden Communities

Garden Communities concern proposals for substantial new growth to be planned and accommodated within new settlements in Essex. Several Essex districts and boroughs are working together and with Government to bring forward developments to accommodate new communities for north Essex (including those within Braintree, Colchester and Tendring). For west Essex the growth is proposed to focus on the expansion of Harlow.

Harlow expansion

Harlow Council is currently working closely with its neighbouring local authorities, Essex and Hertfordshire County Councils and others towards a new Local Plan (co-ordinated with emerging Plans of neighbour councils) for the town.

This will provide the blueprint for ambitious proposed growth and expansion plans likely to involve substantial regeneration and growth within Harlow and new planned development within neighbouring areas of East Hertfordshire and Epping Forest districts.

Print this page