A BLOCK of 17 flats in Aveley has been given the go-ahead by councillors, despite concerns over the building’s height and that the developer will be contributing nothing in the way of funds.

A local ward councillor spoke against the proposed development, arguing it would not fit in with surrounding buildings in Purfleet Road, because it is at least one storey taller than others in the area.

Residents fightin the plans said their properties would be devalued by the building and at least one member of Thurrock Council’s planning committee had concerns a significant development would not have to pay infrastructure contributions, as the original application was lodged before such funds were compulsory.

In the end, the development was given the green light by the committee, ending a year-long wrangle between the council and developer Noakes Properties.

Carole Wright, the agent speaking on behalf of Noakes Properties, told the committee there had been “no secrets” over the application and residents had been notified of the developer’s intentions to build the three-storey block.

She added: “We feel the design enhances the surroundings.”

But Robert Ray, UKIP councillor for Aveley and Uplands ward, pictured, said: “Having spoken with my residents, most have no objection with plans that fit in with surrounding buildings.

“But three storeys they feel will set a precedent. It’s the residents, not the developer, who will have to live with this.

“A two-storey building of quality would have few objections.

“It’s not like they’re doing us a favour, because they are not paying any contributions.”

During the debate, committee member Cllr Barry Palmer said: “The three storey element does give me some concern. I do think we are creating another precedent.

“This site needs to be developed, but do we always need multi-storey blocks?”