A BARRISTER for developers granted permission to build 501 homes in Aveley has made her final submissions to an inquiry.

Harriet Townsend, of Cornerstone Barristers, made her closing statements to government inspector Jennifer Vyse, who has chaired the inquiry since it opened on Tuesday after being called by Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price.

Mrs Vyse formally closed the enquiry after Mrs Townsend spoke for about an hour on why the development on the old Fireman's Club, Aveley, should go ahead after being controversially approved by the council's planning committee in November.

Summing up, she said: "It is our submission that, bearing in mind the negligable harm to the green belt which is caused beyond its policy designation (to which significant weight must be given), bearing in mind the urgent need for green belt releases ahead of the review of the Core Strategy and the prospect of the site being an allocation in the forthcoming Local Plan review, bearing in mind the package of benefits tailored to local needs and not otherwise deliverable, this case provides the very special circumstances required, and permission should be granted."

Mrs Vyse will now prepare a report detailing the findings of the inquiry and her recommendations on it for the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, who will in due course rule on whether the development ought to have been granted planning permission.