Plans for a new major river crossing could see a loss of £51million for businesses and thousands of homes affected, the council claims.

The report by Thurrock Council highlights what bosses say are the possible economic and social harm to the borough if Highways England goes ahead with current proposals for the Lower Thames Crossing route.

The council bosses say the harm by the current proposals includes:

• Potential losses of £51 million for local businesses during the construction phase

• Up to 1,400 homes impacted by proposals

• The loss of land which could be used to provide 3,500 new homes for residents

• Up to £150 million worth of land lost to construction of the tunnel and roads

Mark Coxshall, councillor for regeneration, said: “As they stand the proposals will create an unnatural division splitting the borough in half and, as this report makes clear, they do not offer any benefits to the borough or its residents.

“We will continue to challenge these proposals and the findings of this report will give us a great deal to talk to Highways England about.

“Highways England have launched a new consultation on their updated proposals. I would urge everyone to read this report and then take part in the consultation and make their voice heard on this issue.”

The proposed route starts on the M25 near South Ockendon, runs through Tilbury and crosses the River Thames to Chalk in Gravesham in Kent.

A Highways England spokesman said: "The Lower Thames Crossing offers a huge opportunity to boost local and regional economies, providing new connections, better journeys and fewer delays.

"We are working closely with Thurrock council and all Local Authorities, communities and businesses to maximise the opportunities while minimising the impacts on people and the environment.

"We are committed to continuing to work with Thurrock Council to ensure the Lower Thames Crossing best supports the Council’s development objectives.”