Inquiry: should council follow its own rules?

The council's planning committee controversially gave the development planning permission in November

The council's planning committee controversially gave the development planning permission in November

First published in News by

A BARRISTER has questioned the need for the council to follow its own planning rules in an inquiry into how 501 homes got the go-ahead to be built on greenbelt in Aveley.

Responding to a witness arguing against the development, Harriet Townsend - a barrister acting on behalf of developers – questioned the importance of the Local Development Framework, during the hearing at Grays Civic Offices today.

She said: “Should the council follow its own rules just because it has got them, even though they are incapable of meeting people’s needs?”

Her question was followed by two residents’ statements in support of the development, which was controversially given the go-ahead to be built on the old London Fire Brigades Sports and Social Club in November, arguing the area and the borough had a chronic shortage of available housing.

Phil Ward, 40, of Purfleet Road, Aveley, told government inspector Jennifer Vyse his children were struggle to find properties in the area.

He said: “I’ve got two young people planning for their own homes who are probably going to be moving out of the area because there’s nothing there.

“My back garden backs onto the (proposed) development and what I’m always up against is people going out there on motorbikes, footballers jumping over the fence and people setting their dogs off.

“We’ve also had seven or eight burglaries in the last few months and there were horses abandoned in there for three days before anyone did anything about it – it’s looking a mess.”

Anne Martin, 48, of Marine Court, Purfleet, said residents in the town also had an interest in the development as there was a shortage of homes there, too.

Yesterday, Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price told the inquiry the development would lead to an effective merger of Aveley and Purfleet.

Mrs Martin said: “I’m in a position now where I’ve lived here 25 years, I’m disabled, and I’ve got a son with no other family.

“He’s saving for a deposit (on a house) but he’s looking outside the area – I would ideally like him to stay near me because, in the next couple of years, I could need him to be my carer.”

Councillor Robert Ray spoke against the development, however, arguing a large portion of the new homes would not be taken by Thurrock locals.

He said: “This area is becoming an overspill – we know the majority of rents will not go to local people as most will be tied up in long term contracts with neighbouring London authorities.”

Comments (7)

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4:15pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Dave-Chadwell says...

Erm... YES, they surely must follow their own rules. IF the rules are no good (which wont be a new finding) then they should be changed in the correct manner - not just to suit themselves.

Personally, id be interested in quite a few bank accounts, or holiday schedules, or extension and conservatory plans for some of the approvers...

Sorry, but the council in my opinion is generally crooked. Historically I think its always been crooked ... but worsened in the last 10 or so years for sure.
Erm... YES, they surely must follow their own rules. IF the rules are no good (which wont be a new finding) then they should be changed in the correct manner - not just to suit themselves. Personally, id be interested in quite a few bank accounts, or holiday schedules, or extension and conservatory plans for some of the approvers... Sorry, but the council in my opinion is generally crooked. Historically I think its always been crooked ... but worsened in the last 10 or so years for sure. Dave-Chadwell
  • Score: 7

6:24pm Wed 30 Jul 14

thefalc says...

sounds like another chafrica is on its way. local people being left out again. sounds lika someone has took a large back hander on this one tut tut Thurrock council.
sounds like another chafrica is on its way. local people being left out again. sounds lika someone has took a large back hander on this one tut tut Thurrock council. thefalc
  • Score: 5

1:03pm Thu 31 Jul 14

The Hog says...

councils rules are always open ended. So they do as they please,so don't be shocked when the area is turned into a dumping ground we poor services and transport. One of my new neighbours moved from Bow London and they could not believe the transport services around Ockendon. ok if you want Grays,Romford or lakeside....recipe for problems.
councils rules are always open ended. So they do as they please,so don't be shocked when the area is turned into a dumping ground we poor services and transport. One of my new neighbours moved from Bow London and they could not believe the transport services around Ockendon. ok if you want Grays,Romford or lakeside....recipe for problems. The Hog
  • Score: 3

7:01pm Thu 31 Jul 14

poortaxpayer says...

Dave-Chadwell wrote:
Erm... YES, they surely must follow their own rules. IF the rules are no good (which wont be a new finding) then they should be changed in the correct manner - not just to suit themselves.

Personally, id be interested in quite a few bank accounts, or holiday schedules, or extension and conservatory plans for some of the approvers...

Sorry, but the council in my opinion is generally crooked. Historically I think its always been crooked ... but worsened in the last 10 or so years for sure.
...or if anyone or their partner recently purchased a home for cash?
[quote][p][bold]Dave-Chadwell[/bold] wrote: Erm... YES, they surely must follow their own rules. IF the rules are no good (which wont be a new finding) then they should be changed in the correct manner - not just to suit themselves. Personally, id be interested in quite a few bank accounts, or holiday schedules, or extension and conservatory plans for some of the approvers... Sorry, but the council in my opinion is generally crooked. Historically I think its always been crooked ... but worsened in the last 10 or so years for sure.[/p][/quote]...or if anyone or their partner recently purchased a home for cash? poortaxpayer
  • Score: 5

7:09pm Thu 31 Jul 14

poortaxpayer says...

thefalc wrote:
sounds like another chafrica is on its way. local people being left out again. sounds lika someone has took a large back hander on this one tut tut Thurrock council.
The developer is proposing to give a large sum of cash to the school where the step-daughter of the Chair of Planning works.

The Chair of Planning failed to declare any potential conflict of interests.

Council Officers described the contributions the developer was proposing to make as 'unusual' as some of the money was going to Treetops Special Needs School in Blackshots but not a penny to the Special Needs School a stones throw from the development in South Ockendon.

It was the Chair of Plannings casting vote that approved this development.

Why should he care when he lives 100 miles away in Norfolk. He will never have to live with the consequences of his planning decisions as he can retire to his cottage in the Norfolk Fens. Bizarre the residents of Stanford-le-Hope have a Councillor who lives in Norfolk. A very strange state of affairs.
[quote][p][bold]thefalc[/bold] wrote: sounds like another chafrica is on its way. local people being left out again. sounds lika someone has took a large back hander on this one tut tut Thurrock council.[/p][/quote]The developer is proposing to give a large sum of cash to the school where the step-daughter of the Chair of Planning works. The Chair of Planning failed to declare any potential conflict of interests. Council Officers described the contributions the developer was proposing to make as 'unusual' as some of the money was going to Treetops Special Needs School in Blackshots but not a penny to the Special Needs School a stones throw from the development in South Ockendon. It was the Chair of Plannings casting vote that approved this development. Why should he care when he lives 100 miles away in Norfolk. He will never have to live with the consequences of his planning decisions as he can retire to his cottage in the Norfolk Fens. Bizarre the residents of Stanford-le-Hope have a Councillor who lives in Norfolk. A very strange state of affairs. poortaxpayer
  • Score: 6

4:51pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Sugarman says...

I really do think that the council could save a huge amount of money by getting Terry Hipsey to step down from Chair of Planning. His two hour each way drive to Thurrock from Norfolk must be costing a pretty penny and I have no doubt he stays over in a nice hotel (well claims for one anyway) if it's too late to drive all the way back to Norfolk. It really is shameful that the council have allowed this situation to continue. If you want to be a Thurrock Counciller then you need to live in Thurrock. As for the housing? I doubt the gentleman's children will even get one, they will all go to our foreign brethren.
I really do think that the council could save a huge amount of money by getting Terry Hipsey to step down from Chair of Planning. His two hour each way drive to Thurrock from Norfolk must be costing a pretty penny and I have no doubt he stays over in a nice hotel (well claims for one anyway) if it's too late to drive all the way back to Norfolk. It really is shameful that the council have allowed this situation to continue. If you want to be a Thurrock Counciller then you need to live in Thurrock. As for the housing? I doubt the gentleman's children will even get one, they will all go to our foreign brethren. Sugarman
  • Score: 3

8:55am Sat 2 Aug 14

poortaxpayer says...

Sugarman wrote:
I really do think that the council could save a huge amount of money by getting Terry Hipsey to step down from Chair of Planning. His two hour each way drive to Thurrock from Norfolk must be costing a pretty penny and I have no doubt he stays over in a nice hotel (well claims for one anyway) if it's too late to drive all the way back to Norfolk. It really is shameful that the council have allowed this situation to continue. If you want to be a Thurrock Counciller then you need to live in Thurrock. As for the housing? I doubt the gentleman's children will even get one, they will all go to our foreign brethren.
The blabber mouthed partner of a certain Councillor has been heard boasting in a pub of all places that they have purchased a house for cash. Just why this loose tongued individual wants to reveal to a bar full of strangers their private financial affairs is anyones guess.
[quote][p][bold]Sugarman[/bold] wrote: I really do think that the council could save a huge amount of money by getting Terry Hipsey to step down from Chair of Planning. His two hour each way drive to Thurrock from Norfolk must be costing a pretty penny and I have no doubt he stays over in a nice hotel (well claims for one anyway) if it's too late to drive all the way back to Norfolk. It really is shameful that the council have allowed this situation to continue. If you want to be a Thurrock Counciller then you need to live in Thurrock. As for the housing? I doubt the gentleman's children will even get one, they will all go to our foreign brethren.[/p][/quote]The blabber mouthed partner of a certain Councillor has been heard boasting in a pub of all places that they have purchased a house for cash. Just why this loose tongued individual wants to reveal to a bar full of strangers their private financial affairs is anyones guess. poortaxpayer
  • Score: 3

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