Underpass the key to council's town centre vision

First published in News

AN UNDERPASS the width of a street and an overhaul of the railway station have been included in Thurrock Council’s vision to regenerate Grays town centre.

The first pictures of the council’s plan are published for the first time in this week's edition of the Gazette.

After weeks of consultation, discussion and deliberation, the council’s cabinet was due to note progress on the plans to restore Thurrock’s key town to its former glory on Wednesday night.

The vision, born from thoughts gathered off Grays residents, station users and town centre businesses, has been formed with the £43million South Essex College campus at its heart.

From September 2014, thousands of students will be based at the northern end of the High Street and so an underpass, providing free flowing access to the high street, could be constructed.

An overhaul of the station is also under consideration while the Gazette understands that key High Street retailers, who were not interested in locating themselves in the town a year ago, are suddenly considering the opportunity a rejigged Grays town centre could offer.

The council’s draft vision aims to “build on Grays’ strengths as a chartered market town” and be an “exciting, high quality destination for people to live, work, learn, shop and socialise”.

The vision sets out a strategy which would seek to build a local economy based on markets, convenience and specialist retail, cafes, leisure and events during the day mixed with entertainment, culture and places to eat and drink in the evening.

It intends to improve transport links around the station and the rail crossing, replacing it with a "high quality" underpass, while also creating public squares and green spaces.

Attempts to renovate the State Cinema, derelict for 20 years, are also central in the thinking of the council and town centre users. Councillors were due to talk about the plans on Wednesday.

But Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price said: “It is time for leadership. There have been too many talking shops and announcements that lead to nothing. What we need to do is promote Grays, bring in the investors who will get our night-time economy going. “The council has the money – spend it on something that would bring some real good to our town. “Get rid of the market and start using the High Street for more events to bring people in. “It is time the council started using its imagination and exercising some civic leadership instead of sitting on the sidelines whinging about how bad everything is. “Less talk, more action – let’s get on with it.”

Comments (9)

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11:06am Wed 10 Jul 13

Mattster says...

It all sounds lovely but we lived in Grays for 13 years and so many plans like this came and went with nothing being built other than low quality flats (The ones in Morrisons Car Park being the exception)

I really cannot see high quality retailers returning to Grays without a huge shift in the demographic of the population which is increasingly becoming comprised of low skilled and low paid immigrant workers.

JDP is correct on this one, stop talking about improvements and get on and build them.
It all sounds lovely but we lived in Grays for 13 years and so many plans like this came and went with nothing being built other than low quality flats (The ones in Morrisons Car Park being the exception) I really cannot see high quality retailers returning to Grays without a huge shift in the demographic of the population which is increasingly becoming comprised of low skilled and low paid immigrant workers. JDP is correct on this one, stop talking about improvements and get on and build them. Mattster
  • Score: 0

12:31pm Wed 10 Jul 13

ebagumtrebor says...

I hope all those pigs have got parachutes. One of them falling out of the sky is going to cause serious injury or possibly even death.
I hope all those pigs have got parachutes. One of them falling out of the sky is going to cause serious injury or possibly even death. ebagumtrebor
  • Score: 0

1:26pm Wed 10 Jul 13

Bernard 87 says...

By the time any good is made of Grays most people wo actually care about the place will be long gone. Once a town starts a downward spiral it is increasingly difficult to get out of it, especially with a Labour council at the wheel.
By the time any good is made of Grays most people wo actually care about the place will be long gone. Once a town starts a downward spiral it is increasingly difficult to get out of it, especially with a Labour council at the wheel. Bernard 87
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Wed 10 Jul 13

Jb66 says...

Yeah, an underpass in Grays equals a muggers paradise, and a residence for the junkies/drunks and assylum seekers who hang around the High Street all day intimidating people.
Yeah, an underpass in Grays equals a muggers paradise, and a residence for the junkies/drunks and assylum seekers who hang around the High Street all day intimidating people. Jb66
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Wed 10 Jul 13

Paul_Grays says...

This underpass is going to be needed once that shipping port at Stanford-Le-Hope is fully operational.

Along with additional haulage going into the A13 and M25, there will be some much extra rail haulage that the barrier is going to be down a lot more and the stairs don't help the disabled and them with pushchairs.
This underpass is going to be needed once that shipping port at Stanford-Le-Hope is fully operational. Along with additional haulage going into the A13 and M25, there will be some much extra rail haulage that the barrier is going to be down a lot more and the stairs don't help the disabled and them with pushchairs. Paul_Grays
  • Score: 0

7:58pm Wed 10 Jul 13

A.N.Other says...

10 years of talking and still no underpass.

Folks please wake up to the Councils ploy of re-announcing previously announced schemes for visions and developments to fool us mere plebs that the good and great in their ivory tower at the Civic Offices are actually doing something.

All they have done is stick a new date on a previously written report and issue a press release.

They have been talking about an underpass for a decade.

Stop talking and get on and do it.

Remember they now have £8 million and growing in the Council reserves.
10 years of talking and still no underpass. Folks please wake up to the Councils ploy of re-announcing previously announced schemes for visions and developments to fool us mere plebs that the good and great in their ivory tower at the Civic Offices are actually doing something. All they have done is stick a new date on a previously written report and issue a press release. They have been talking about an underpass for a decade. Stop talking and get on and do it. Remember they now have £8 million and growing in the Council reserves. A.N.Other
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Thu 11 Jul 13

Mr Disgusted says...

I was in Grays on Tuesday and the rubbish that was laying about all the way down the High Street was disgusting!!!!!and I would of been put off from coming to Grays again(if I didn't have to) But how much money is it gonna cost to do the work and in a few Years time they think oh we need to do this/that and then yet more money gone!!!!!yes I agree that things need tobe done to impove Grays
I was in Grays on Tuesday and the rubbish that was laying about all the way down the High Street was disgusting!!!!!and I would of been put off from coming to Grays again(if I didn't have to) But how much money is it gonna cost to do the work and in a few Years time they think oh we need to do this/that and then yet more money gone!!!!!yes I agree that things need tobe done to impove Grays Mr Disgusted
  • Score: 0

11:25pm Thu 11 Jul 13

d_2da_ougle says...

really bad geography there from the gazette, "From September 2014, thousands of students will be based at the northern end of the High Street and so an underpass, providing free flowing access to the high street, could be constructed" the collage is at the southern most area of the high street not the north, or im completly worng and their cramming thousands of students into the old court building which does happen to be at the northern part of the high street .
really bad geography there from the gazette, "From September 2014, thousands of students will be based at the northern end of the High Street and so an underpass, providing free flowing access to the high street, could be constructed" the collage is at the southern most area of the high street not the north, or im completly worng and their cramming thousands of students into the old court building which does happen to be at the northern part of the high street . d_2da_ougle
  • Score: 0

9:16am Mon 15 Jul 13

aerobic1 says...

I AGREE JACKIE, TOO MUCH TIME TALKING AND NOT ENOUGH TIME DOING - AS MY RECENT TWITTER SAYS FROM RICHARD BRANSON, A GOOD BUSINESS PERSON DOES NOT JUST THINK ABOUT IT BUT DOES IT!
I AGREE JACKIE, TOO MUCH TIME TALKING AND NOT ENOUGH TIME DOING - AS MY RECENT TWITTER SAYS FROM RICHARD BRANSON, A GOOD BUSINESS PERSON DOES NOT JUST THINK ABOUT IT BUT DOES IT! aerobic1
  • Score: 0

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