A BID for a commercial storage park at a company site has been booted out by the council – a move which the firm claims could cost 150 jobs.
Howard Tenens, a large logistics firm, lodged a retrospective planning application after being served with two enforcement notices in 2009 for having an illegal lorry storage park on green belt land, next to its lawful Stifford Road base.
But last week, Thurrock Council’s planning committee voted to reject the application.
Howard Tenens told the committee up to 150 local jobs would be lost if the application failed and countered council officers’ arguments that there are alternative sites within Thurrock, insisting their contracted firms would be forced to look south of the river if they lost the site.
A council report on the issue said CHEP, the site’s predominant users, and Eddie Stobart, whose lorries regularly access the area, are on short term contracts with Howard Tenens and concluded job security could not be guaranteed anyway.
The application sought temporary permission for five years and offered to restore “derelict and damaged” green belt land at the end of that period.
Lauren Dooley, on behalf of Howard Tenens, said: “The purpose of this submission is to try to reach a sensible compromise that would allow existing jobs to be retained in tough economic times. Up to 150 jobs at the site could be lost.
“There are now very few employment opportunities in South Ockendon and to allow these jobs to be lost would be nonsensical.”
Despite the firm’s pledges, the application was opposed by councillors.
Cllr Charlie Curtis, Labour, said: “The owners are trying to exploit the system. The people I represent do not agree with our green belt being exploited, and neither do I.”
Cllr Maureen Pearce, Conservative, said lorries accessing the site had blighted Aveley for many years. She added: “I urge members to restore some peace to Aveley.”
The committee voted unanimously to reject the plans.