Planning meeting LIVE

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  • Meeting of Thurrock's planning committee
  • On tonight's agenda:
  • -Tilbury power station, approved at 21:50.
  • -Cllr Rice's contentious fence

10:09pm

And that's that. 

Good news for Tilbury Power Station and it's workers. If Mr Law is to be believed, then not such good news for the planet!

Thank you for following us tonight. 

Happy Valentines Day!

10:05pm

Now! Fence gate.

Here are the details

and in a flash, that's been approved!

Cllr Rice will have to take down the current fence by August and put up a smaller one should he wish.

10:05pm

Now! Fence gate.

Here are the details

and in a flash, that's been approved!

Cllr Rice will have to take down the current fence by August and put up a smaller one should he wish.

10:02pm

So a more detailed application for work will need to come before the committee later in the year, but the green light has been given for Tilbury power station to go ahead with biomass progress works.

The Environment Agency will now assess the permit. More on this in next week's Gazette.

9:59pm

After a brief discussion about fish and how they are protected, the offshore outline application has been approved!

9:56pm

Offshore plans: "Provision of an additional vacuum ship unloader similar to the two installed as part of Phase 1 works.

"Modification of the existing dust separator structure on the jetty and its conveyor connections .

"The application proposes the provision of a sheet piled or similar enclosure around the existing cooling water intake caissons located under the eastern arm of the existing jetty in the tidal Thames.

"Provision of a pipe with outfall to the Thames as part of the provision of a fish return system."

 

9:53pm

Good news for the station's 220 workers then... The application has been approved! (Onshore)

Offshore is to be debated next. I shall post what that entails next...

9:51pm

Cllr Anderson now has spoken very clearly and succinctly on the issue.

He has just said that one of the big issues is carbon emissions. These are set and regulated by the government and that it is not the job of the local planning bodies to go against that. "We can satisfy ourselves that the sustainability of this project is met by government regulations."

9:45pm

Very good point made by Cllr Speight: it would be hard for Thurrock Council to object to this application on the grounds of fuel source when the government is comprehensively endorsing it.

9:43pm

Very interesting speech by Nigel Staves, the power station manager. He is saying that the station will support more than 300 local jobs and will mean that Thurrock is still home to the biggest Biomass station in the world.

9:35pm

As he is now pointing out, the government is subsidising biomass which is why, he claims, RWE is doing this. But he adds that the government is "under pressure to keep the lights on when many of those lights shouldn't be kept on".

Duncan Law has just revealed that by, training he is, a director and actor... 

He sees biomass tough as something that is "trashing our ecosystems".

9:32pm

Mr Law's speech was long and complex but to summarise he has said that there is peer review evidence burning biomass is more harmful than burning coal.

He said: "Thurrock Council should let this old monster die that is burning our old forests at just 37 per cent efficiency"

9:24pm

Duncan Law from Biofuelwatch is about to speak...

9:22pm

The EH officer is saying that the question is whether what is being proposed ADDS to current levels, which is doesn't. It makes no difference - to clarify.

9:20pm

The EH officer is here. He has just said that the air quality management areas around Tilbury will not be effected whether the plant operates on coal, biomass or if it shuts.

9:18pm

Worth bearing mind that if the works needed on the plant get planning permissions, the plant will need a permit which will be granted by the Environment Agency.

9:15pm

A question has just been asked where RWE intend to get there wood pellets from. (These are what the station will burn as fuel). They come largely from the USA.

9:12pm

The onshore proposals then: "This application proposes the construction of two new biomass fuel storage silos and connecting conveyors to and from the existing conveyor system at existing Junction Tower 4

"Provision of an additional dust separator onshore and associated connecting conveyors to and from the existing conveyor system at existing Junction Tower 1

"Provision of new silos for wood dust and additional wood dust blowers and handling capacity.

"Modifications to the existing power station drainage system including provision of vegetated open channel drains providing additional buffer storage capacity for storm water.

"Modifications to the north chimney stack – The applicant advises that ‘The existing north main chimney stack needs substantial repairs to extend its life and remedy deterioration’"

9:09pm

As is normal at planning meetings, the application and its details are now being explained and introduced by the planning officer.

9:08pm

This has been deferred until the next meeting...

On to Tilbury Power Station...

There are two applications here: one is for works offshore one for works onshore.

Onshore details here

Offshore details here

9:05pm

This has been deferred until the next meeting...

On to Tilbury Power Station...

9:02pm

Still in Grays and still discussing Regency Ceilings. The applicant is saying there has been no dialogue over the need for a section 106 agreement, but that he is prepared to pay the full £5000 per unit tomorrow. Looking like this one is going to be deferred so confusion can be sorted behind the scenes.

8:52pm

Residents have just given a statement in opposition against this application and now Cllr Tom Kelly is speaking against it. 

Out of character with surrounding buildings, problems with access and parking are among the points being raised.

8:49pm

Not just councillors, but council staff - just to show transparency. Hence the uproar caused by Cllr Rice erecting his fence without the correct planning permission.

8:47pm

Cllr Ojetola has just asked why this application has been called in when the applicant has not signed a 106 agreement, meaning contributions have to be made to the local economy.

Mr Millard points out that this application was "called in". For anyone not sure how it is determined what planning applications are debated by the committee and what aren't - applications can be called in for debate by ward councillors, or for example, applications might be debated if they are being made by councillors (such as this evening's fencegate application).

8:39pm

Tilbury power station is up next by the way. No more than 30 minutes away, I'd say.

8:38pm

Regency Ceilings is currently in commercial use with few conditions attached. It's used for storage at the moment and access is not restricted nor is the amount of containers (or the height) which can be stored.

It's recommended for refusal

8:36pm

Regency Ceilings. St Johns Hall Cottage road (near Southend Road). Bid for a two storey building of four two bedroom flats.

Details here

8:34pm

It's been passed/approved.

8:27pm

Now we are debating! I say we, I mean the councillors. 

8:22pm

For anyone logging onto find out about Tilbury Power Station, we're still a little way off that application being discussed.

8:19pm

Environmental health officer now discussing the pros and cons of an acoustic fence being put up. All very technical!

8:14pm

The applicant, Mr Howson has just given his representation. He rehomes stray dogs for the council (15 since September) and is working with a local dog charity and even with the Met Police. 

Existing kennels (which are lawful) are not up to council standards he says. Mr Howson also outlined some cases of horrific dog abuse - he has come to the rescue of these dogs.

All very interesting, this!

8:07pm

And an impassioned speech by Ms Pumphrey now. Feels the council are showing bias towards the applicant and the rights of residents are being ignored. 

8:03pm

Debate on this at the moment surrounds another set of kennels (for which there is planning permission) on the site. They aren't currently fit for purpose. But questions being asked surround whether or not planning permission is needed for kennels at all: yes, is the answer.

A relatively contentious one this. Cllr Curtis had sympathy for it in October as the family house homeless and stray dogs. But there's strong local opposition...

7:52pm

Now onto Fobbing Road where dog kennels were operating without planning permission. An enforcement notice was served in November after an application in October was refused by this committee. 

Details here

Thurrock Gazette story here

7:46pm

Cllr Anderson has found away around this problem. And now we're voting. It's been approved! Recommendation for refusal has fallen.

I shall clarify Cllr Anderson's proposal in a minute. It's to do with the proposal complying with PMD6, meaning special circumstances need not be considered. Andrew Millard, head of planning has said this approval is tentative and it will need to be reported back on. 

Approved in principle, however. But this application will return next time...

7:40pm

Still discussing Kemps Farm. Now discussing nearby water pressure following a neighbour objection a couple of months ago.

Members now considering how they can approve this application when it would go against policy and there don't appear to be any special circumstances in which to go against that policy.

7:30pm

Cllrs are still debating Kemps Farm. Little progress so far. At the moment it seems the application has gained favour with members who do not want to see this site, a derelict farm, left as it is.

7:24pm

Cllr Johnson has just argued that this application is no more harmful to the green belt than the "eight lanes of Tarmac" of the m25 which is very nearby this site.

7:21pm

First up this evening then is Kemps Farm.

More details on that one here

It's recommended for refusal, but Terry Hipsey, the chairman who undertook a site visit has just called the project "interesting" and said he disagrees with much of what is in the report.

It's recommended for refusal because the work is thought to be too much on green belt land, essentially.

7:12pm

I should add, sorry, Manor infant school's application for the Olympic pavilion has been withdrawn

7:10pm

Cllr Anderson declares a personal interest, he used to work at Tilbury power station! That will be tonight's "headline" agenda item.

While a few more interests are declared, including Labour cllrs having to declare that Cllr Rice is in their party, here is some of the stories the Thurrock Gazette have written on Tilbury Power Station:

Opposition to plant bid

7:06pm

So to kick us off here, issues brought up regarding previous minutes etc. Cllr Barry Johnson is welcomed as a permanent member of the planning committee too!

7:05pm

Ok, we'll try that again. Here's tonight's agenda!

6:58pm

Good evening and welcome to the February planning meeting.

Some very interesting items on tonight's agenda including Tilbury Power Station and Cllr Gerard Rice's contentious fence.

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:44am Sat 16 Feb 13

A Dermot says...

Weird how they can build hundreds of homes on green belt at St Cleres Hall in Stanford-le-Hope but refuse the Kemp Farm development of a dozen homes?

Oh I forgot the owners of St Cleres Hall are donors to the Conservative Party!
Weird how they can build hundreds of homes on green belt at St Cleres Hall in Stanford-le-Hope but refuse the Kemp Farm development of a dozen homes? Oh I forgot the owners of St Cleres Hall are donors to the Conservative Party! A Dermot

8:47am Sat 16 Feb 13

A Dermot says...

Weird how they can build hundreds of homes on green belt at St Cleres Hall in Stanford-le-Hope but refuse the Kemp Farm development of a dozen homes?

Oh I forgot the owners of St Cleres Hall are donors to the Conservative Party!
Weird how they can build hundreds of homes on green belt at St Cleres Hall in Stanford-le-Hope but refuse the Kemp Farm development of a dozen homes? Oh I forgot the owners of St Cleres Hall are donors to the Conservative Party! A Dermot

Comments are closed on this article.

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