Huge TV and film studios could be built as part of exciting project to regenerate Purfleet (From Thurrock Gazette)
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Huge TV and film studios could be built as part of exciting project to regenerate Purfleet
A HUGE TV and film studio complex could be built in Purfleet as part of £800million plans to regenerate the town.
Thurrock Council is in the process of selecting a developer to take on the enormous project in the west of the borough, which could see a new cinema, school, gym and hotel built around a new high quality town centre.
The River Thames waterfront at Purfleet could also be transformed into a marina, complete with oyster bar.
These proposals - the first to go into any detail on what the massive regeneration scheme in Purfleet could look like - have been put forward by the Yellow Consortium, a group formed of Regeneration Investments, Keltbray, Bouyges and Sir Tim Lawrence.
On Tuesday, the council's planning and regeneration scrutiny committee is expected to recommend that the cabinet and council allow the Yellow Consortium to proceed with its development plans.
More than 2,300 new homes will be built and 1,500 new jobs created as part of the consortium's proposals.
The project is likely to take between 10 and 15 years to complete and construction will take place in phases.
John Kent, the leader of Thurrock Council, said: "We've spoken many times about the future of the village and how it will lead the west of the borough into the future.
"The proposal the committee's being asked to scrutinise - if we agree to it - would do far more than that.
"Yes it would deliver the new homes and jobs we're looking for, but also, the proposal from a consortium headed by Sir Tim Lawrence, would build on the amazing creative industries rapidly becoming established just down the road at High House, to provide at half a million square feet of high-tech film and television studios."
The 500,000 square foot film and TV studio complex - the size of six football pitches - forms part of the consortium's plans to bring jobs to the Purfleet area and builds on the existing arts and cultural offering already in the town on the High House Production Park.
The council claims there is an element of risk with the studios as the consortium have no track record in building such developments, but a report on the project says "the proposal is headed by an impressive array of industry figures and has garnered significant support from the sector at large".
The council adds the wider project is still viable, even if plans for the studios cannot be realised.
The report being presented to the planning and regeneration committee on Tuesday night said: "Whilst the scale of development is impressive, it is the approach to the public realm and general level of quality within the vision which is particularly distinctive.
"The connection of the development to the riverside, the removal of the level crossing, the breadth of the housing offer and the integration of the various uses with a clearly identified centre all serve to deliver a vision which, if realised, will see Purfleet become a model for a modern sustainable community."
The next steps are for the council to approve the Yellow Consortium as the preferred developer, before planning applications are submitted and any oustanding compulsory purchase orders made.
For more information and to get a closer look at the plans, click here (opens a new window to documents being presented to the council next week).
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