First things first. In defence of the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation, there are four options on the table regarding the North Grays Masterplan. One of the options is: None of the Options.
There is no doubt that plans to reshape an area bring out a variety of emotions in people. People hate feeling powerless against the anonymous quasi autonomous non-governmental organisation (quango).
One resident rightly said: “You don’t understand until you have lived in an area for 40 years. You have invested so much: family and bricks and mortar.”
It is easy for outsiders and journalists to bandy about the term “Nimby” but wait until it comes round to your area.
The plans were on show at the Thurrock Harriers Clubhouse. Hundreds turned up on saturday and there were some strong emotions.
Our concern (and we may be wrong) is that scratch the surface and there is the aspect of “We don’t want “Londoners” moving in”
Those views were not expressed by anyone who appeared on camera but other residents told us that as quangos had been supported by both main parties they would be voting BNP next time.
Many other people pointed to the infrastructure problems and felt that they were heading straight to the same problems faced by Chafford Hundred.
Others looked at the plans for a Community Hub and were very excited seeing a dynamic 21st century plan.
The residents of North Grays may be King Canute but you have the feeling that they will not go quietly.