PLANS to develop the old Tilbury Leisure Centre have been thrown out by Thurrock Council’s planning committee.
Developers had planned to demolish the structure and build a block of flats and gym on the prominent Brennan Road site.
Local residents were angry at the plans, with 500 signing a petition against the development.
They were furious developers had not consulted with them over what sort of building should replace the centre, which has been disused for seven years.
At a planning committee meeting last Thursday, councillors voted to reject giving planning permission, calling the application “peacemeal”.
Developers GH Land had hoped to build 24 flats and a gym on the site, but speaking as an objector to the plans at the meeting, Tilbury councillor Lynn Worrall called the them “faceless”.
She said: “I am disappointed to be sat here discussing this.
“This is more flats, not affordable housing which Thurrock needs, with a token leisure centre on the ground floor.
“We need something special on that piece of land.
“This is a poor development and a poor application.”
Debating the application, Cllr Phil Anderson, Tory group leader, said: “This ought to be one of the most iconic sites in Thurrock.
“If you were to grade this application like a school report you’d give it a C, shows potential could do better.”
An application to develop the rest of the site was submitted on May 8 by the same developer.
This application will seek planning permission for a further 15 flats.
Labour Cllr Gerard Rice pointed out that the developers should put the plans together to form one application, calling the current application “peacemeal”.
Tory Cllr Tunde Ojetola said: “Developers need to think about the whole site. Quite a few good points have been raised.
“It is crucial that the developer engages with the community and understands what the community wants.
“The developer needs to go back and do a bit more.”