A GROUP of campaigners from Corringham made history tonight when a petition signed by more than 1,500 people was debated in a full Thurrock Council meeting for the first time.

Members of the Save Corringham Greenbelt packed the public gallery in the chamber as councillors discussed, and largely backed, the petition against proposals to build 800 homes in the town.

The proposals are the second time in the last six years developers Iceni Projects and Cogent Land LLP have wanted to build the homes on the site north east of Corringham, which runs alongside Lampits Hill.

The same campaign group successfully defeated a previous application.

Resident and campaigner Mr Sandu addressed members of the council, and said the proposals are laughable and show no knowledge of the local area.

He added: “We want the council to object these proposals because it’s green belt land. It should be objected because infrastructure won’t be able to cope, and it will mean overcrowding in the community.”

Councillor Rob Gledhill congratulated the group for putting together a petition that could be discussed in the chamber, and backed their campaign.

He said: “We need to send a message to developers that Thurrock is open for business but we won’t give up our precious green belt.”

Council leader John Kent was equally supportive of the group, and said developers have put no special circumstances forward as to why this part of green belt should be built on.

He said: “This is a development that shouldn’t be allowed and not be given the go ahead.”

The petition will now be referred to the planning committee to be considered in a future decision over the planning application.

For more see next weeks, January 30, Gazette.