Thurrock Council has approved plans long-awaited new Stanford-le-Hope railway station.

Councillors unanimously rubber-stamped the building of the first phase of the council project to rebuild the station to the east of London Road.

The decision came in despite of previous fears it should be built together with a second phase of the project to build a neighbouring transport hub.

The news will provide some comfort to travellers who have had to use the partially demolished station while the plans were scrutinised further after being deferred by a previous planning committee in February. Shane Hebb, Conservative councillor for Stanford-le-Hope West, called for an end to the delays.

He said: “A recent audit of the station phase of the project has verified very clearly that even with changes to the north side of the wider project, the transport hub, the station itself will not significantly change so labouring away on a phase two matter should not stop a new station and platform being built.

“We can go to tender and get the station done for commuters and rail users.

“I would add the view that projects cannot be delivered in stages to be a flawed view. The station is ready to go and was six months ago.”

Mr Hebb added: “I don’t agree that the station building which was ready to start being tendered and developed half a year ago has to be a sacrificial lamb in the pursuit of reconciling opinion on a new car park and transport hub, which has always been a car park and some form of a transport hub. Unless the previous committee was minded to suggest that the station move to the other side of the road, there appears little cause for further delay on rebuilding the station.”

Terry Piccolo, also a Conservative councillor for Stanford-le-Hope West added: “I’ve got a concern that the people of Stanford-le-Hope and the surrounding area are really being let down by some of the decisions being made by the planning committee in so much as it’s been over two years now without a station and the longer it drags on the worse it’s going to be.

“We’re now moving into the winter and the building works will probably take longer. I don’t like the idea of further delays.”