Controversial plan for Dominoes site agreed

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 41 new homes and a retail space in Grays High Street have been given the green light.

Members of Thurrock Council’s planning committee passed a majority vote on Thursday night, meaning the one and two bedroom flats will now be built next to the 1,000-year-old listed building St Peter and St Pauls Church.

Church goers and other residents packed the public gallery in opposition, applauding speakers against the application and criticising those who spoke in favour.

A retail store, a restaurant, a cafe or a takeaway will be part of the new building, that will look on to the new South Essex College currently under construction. A communal garden will also be installed.

In 2011, permission was granted for a 24-unit homes development on the site with four shops ,although the new development comes as a blow to the church.

Cllr Phil Anderson, leader of the Conservatives, said he was concerned the size and design of the building would be harmful to the church.

He said: “I have my concerns. Having a parking free development such as this is a major issue. It is not practical.

“Seeing the new college built opposite, the importance of the site itself has gone up, but the quality of the design has gone down. I want to see regeneration, but not at a price.”

Paul Henry, the agent of developer Carlton Group of Companies, said the development would respect the listed church.

He added: “I want to work with the church and have the support of neighbouring developments.

“We need to regenerate the area and this is a great opportunity to do so.”

An alternative motion by Cllr Anderson was outvoted.

The decision comes despite an application for 43 homes being rejected in 2006 for having “excessive bulk, massing, overlooking, inadequate parking, impact on the listed building and preserved tree”.

The site, which used to be a Dominoes gym and snooker site, is falling into disrepair and has been the victim of fire and graffiti attacks over the last few years.

After the decision had been made, church vicar Rev Darren Barlow said: “It was not the outcome we wanted but I am not that surprised.

“I never had a consultation with the planner over this particular application and that is disappointing.

“The volume of support against the application shows what the larger community thinks.”

Comments (6)

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10:02am Mon 2 Sep 13

stuart695 says...

This decision appears to fly in the face of the high quality plans for Grays town centre development proposed to those residents who took part in the consultations earlier this year. Once again Thurrock councillors ride roughsod over the feeling of local people and continue with their decimation of the character of Grays town. Nothing has changed since the first phase of this decimation started in the 1970s when the original market town was flattended to make place for the present faceless no-go at night zone.
This decision appears to fly in the face of the high quality plans for Grays town centre development proposed to those residents who took part in the consultations earlier this year. Once again Thurrock councillors ride roughsod over the feeling of local people and continue with their decimation of the character of Grays town. Nothing has changed since the first phase of this decimation started in the 1970s when the original market town was flattended to make place for the present faceless no-go at night zone. stuart695
  • Score: 9

11:55am Mon 2 Sep 13

Indred Cold says...

Very poor decision lets face it they dont care
Very poor decision lets face it they dont care Indred Cold
  • Score: 6

3:16pm Mon 2 Sep 13

Thurrockbob says...

At least that eyesore that was once Dominoes will finally be got rid of.
At least that eyesore that was once Dominoes will finally be got rid of. Thurrockbob
  • Score: 5

4:06pm Mon 2 Sep 13

WTF100 says...

I notice the plans include a "potential Costa Coffee and Tesco Express" which would be nice to have.
I notice the plans include a "potential Costa Coffee and Tesco Express" which would be nice to have. WTF100
  • Score: 2

8:23am Tue 3 Sep 13

Bernard 87 says...

Terrible plans which do not make the most of the site.

Regeneration to the local Labour group (and Labour in general) means cramming as much into a tight space as possible in an atempt to recreate the slums of Victorian Britain. That way their vote thrives.

There are more than enough places in Grays for a Tesco and a Costa Coffee. This site should be flattened, grassed over and left as a green space in the heart of the town, especially with the bulky college going up across the road.
Terrible plans which do not make the most of the site. Regeneration to the local Labour group (and Labour in general) means cramming as much into a tight space as possible in an atempt to recreate the slums of Victorian Britain. That way their vote thrives. There are more than enough places in Grays for a Tesco and a Costa Coffee. This site should be flattened, grassed over and left as a green space in the heart of the town, especially with the bulky college going up across the road. Bernard 87
  • Score: 1

2:24pm Tue 3 Sep 13

DannyButcher says...

I have lost all faith in the planning/sale of lands coming from this current council. John Kent in particular seems to want to offload assets for a fraction of their value. Talk about ruining Thurrock!
I have lost all faith in the planning/sale of lands coming from this current council. John Kent in particular seems to want to offload assets for a fraction of their value. Talk about ruining Thurrock! DannyButcher
  • Score: 2

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