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LIVE: Thurrock Council planning committee
Updated 10:48pm Thursday 13th March 2014 in News
This live event has finished
- Tonight's meeting will kick off at 7pm at the Civic Offices in Grays. On the agenda are:
- Plans to build 350 homes on green belt land in Chadwell St Mary, off of Heath Road
- Aveley FC want to relocate to Belhus Park, with their current home at Mill Road being demolished and replaced with 114 homes
- The former Magistrates Court on Orsett Road, Grays, could become a business centre and create up to 75 jobs
- An application will also be heard for a temporary pitch of five years for a gypsy and traveller site on Southend Road, Corringham
And that's it. Meeting over. Time for a cup of tea and bed. Thanks for sticking with us.
No questions, no debate, the committee like this one. Application approved.
Last up is a change of use application for Grays Magistrates Court on Orsett Road. The applicant wants to turn the vacant building into a business centre that could provide up to 75 jobs.
The application has been refused.
A representative for the applicant says there is a chronic lack of traveller facilities in Thurrock and across South Essex, especially for Irish travellers.
They added it's been difficult for travellers since Dale Farm.
Ward Cllr Andrew Roast said little has changed since he opposed last years application. He said Thurrock welcomes everyone to live here but only if the correct measures are followed, adding he doesn't believe that process has been followed this time with an application requiring green belt land.
11 letters have been received by those against the application, stating access to the site, the additional traffic and environmental pollution as reasons for it to be refused.
Now up is a a previously refused application for a temporary traveller and gypsy site on Southend Road, Corringham.
The proposal would last five years and site eight caravans, together with landscaping.
A short and sweet debate, application approved.
Next up is a 'commercial development' on the former Seabourne Containers site on Oliver Road, West Thurrock.
it would consist of three units for warehouse and industrial use, covering nearly 30,000sq meters.
It's proposed that the development could create about 340 jobs.
Permission has been granted for the new home of Aveley FC.
Aveley FC secretary Craig Johnson says the development is vital the community of Aveley, and will provide a viable facility not just for the club, but also the village.
He says people have to sometimes leave the borough to train at better facilities, but this would stop that.
Flying club secretary Alec Hurley has told the chamber that if they lose the field, they lose the club.
26 letters of approval have been received, and relate to the benefit it will bring to the local community, health benefits and the need of modern football facilities.
Fifteen letters of objection have been received for this application, notably from the Thurrock Model Flying Club. They say the loss of the area would affect them with there being a lack of suitable alternative sites.
They want a suitable site to be provided for them if the development goes ahead.
Outline permission has been granted for the 114 homes. Now for the new facility at Belhus Park...
The new facility would cost £2.8m.
John Jowitt, acting on behalf of the developer for the football club, said it's been a long standing condition of the council to provide a new state of the art sports facility.
No homes would be built until the new facility is ready for use, which he hopes to be summer 2015.
Ward Cllr Robert Ray says he and residents aren't against the 114 homes, but would want changes to the proposal, notably the access road to the site. He said he fears developers are putting profit ahead of the needs and worries of those who live near the site now.
Now it's time for Aveley FC. There are two items here that are linked. Firstly the club want to relocate to Belhus Park from Mill Road to a community facility comprising of a floodlit 3rd generation artificial grass pitch, adult grass pitch and two junior pitches with a club house and car park.
The second application is for 114 homes to go on the Mill Road site.
Approved. Woodside Academy will get its six new classrooms.
There were concerns about traffic around the school with additional pupils and parents, but the school have come back with a travel plan showing how they will deal with the extra vehicle movement.
Next up is Woodside Academy in Grays. The school want to build a six classroom extension. It's been referred from last months committee as public consultation hadn't finished when it was heard on February 13. It's up for approval.
The development has been approved.
Cllr Johnson has said this is a different type of green belt to the previous item. However Cllr Speight has said its a dangerous thing to say there are different types of green belt, which gets a quiet mumble of approval from the public gallery.
Committee chair Cllr Hipsey agrees with Cllr Curtis, adding it's previously built on land and that any new development wouldn't have a detremental affect on the green belt. He adds: "It's got to be better than what's there at the moment."
Cllr Curtis says the site is currently a "state" and an "embarrassment". He doesn't feel the land warrants the green belt title it has.
Cllr Speight has said the onus is on the developer to design buildings that are good enough to outweigh the affects it would have on the green belt.
Members aren't convinced enough as has been done to alter the layout of the development to warrant approval. Properties would feature different windows to the original proposal.
It's being recommended for refusal on the basis not enough changes have been made to the green belt site proposals. Changes were based around aspects of a parking garage.
Next up on the agenda are plans for 11 homes on the site of Bentons Farm, Mollards Lane, South Ockendon. The application was heard back in Decmeber and was told to come back with revisions.
The application is refused. Huge cheers from the public gallery and shouts of "well done!" and "thank you!"
The debate amongst Cllrs on the committee is short and sweet. "It's the green belt, value it, and leave it alone" is the general message.
Land applicant Jonathan Chastney has had his say, and believes there are a special set of circumstances as to why the green belt should be released. He says £2.1m will be ploughed into schools and healthcare in the area.
Cllr Barbara Rice lives near the site and has also spoken out against the proposals. She says access from Heath Road and the fact the land is grade two agricultural land makes it's unsuitable for development.
Mrs Ruff ends by saying she doesn't have enough time to discuss all the reasons why the development shouldn't go ahead. Unsurprisingly, the public gallery erupt with applause as she finishes.
She has said the infrastructure will not be able to cope, schools are over subscribed already. She adds residents bought houses in the area for its semi rural location and views across green fields.
Resident Anglea Ruff is now speaking to the chamber. She's lived in the area for 40yrs. She said those near the proposed site are not NIMBY's and appreciate the the need for housing for children and grandchildren.
A few chuckles are raised in the public gallery after a council planning officer tells the chamber a new roundabout for the development would cater for the 350 homes.
The development would be north of Godman Road, Cedar Road, Barry Close and adjacent to Heath Place. It would include a play area and open green space.
The Chadwell homes application is to be heard first due to the large number of residents here in the chamber tonight.
A lively start here at the Civic Offices. Residents from Chadwell St Mary gathered outside with banners opposing the plans for 350 homes in the village, chanting "no building on our green belt".