Hazel Blear says enquiry will examine environmental impact of the proposed Thames Gateway Bridge

Communities secretary Hazel Blear is to reopen a public enquiry into the proposed Thames Gateway Bridge after a planning inspector rejected the £500m scheme, saying it was un-environmental.

The bridge, designed by Marks Barfield Architects which would link Beckton and Thamesmead, would be 650 meters long, six lanes wide and sit 50 meters above the river if given the go ahead. It is estimated that it would generate 20 million vehicle journeys a year.

Planning inspector Michael Ellison objected to the bridge, saying it failed to address concerns about climate change and would breach government policies on minimising car use.

Plans were held up back in 2004 by groups including the Environment Agency as it was about to obtain planning consent over fears it would damage the eco-system in the area.

Blears said she wanted the new enquiry to investigate the bridges impact on pollution and the regenerative effect it would have on the local area.