THE WAR for planning powers and regeneration in the borough looks like it is over as the Coalition government announced today that all powers are to return to Thurrock Council.
The plans were announced by Thames Gateway Minister Bob Neill which, when YourThurrock spoke to the Development Corporation sent shockwaves through the Purfleet offices.
Thurrock Borough Council will absorb the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation from 1 April 2012.
Mr Neill said: “As part of this localist move, decision making power for local regeneration and planning will shift back to into the hands of the local council and communities, who know best what their area needs.
“This is a move away from the previous Government’s decision to merge the corporation with the Homes and Communities Agency and is part of wider plans to turn Government on its head and end centrally imposed decision making on local areas, including the Thames Gateway.
The change will benefit local residents, businesses and the council, by strengthening local control over regeneration, maintaining the momentum of private sector investment and enabling efficiency savings to be realised.
“Putting Thurrock Borough Council back in command of local regeneration puts decision-making power back into democratically elected hands – marking a new era in the area and giving local people more influence to shape the place in which they live.
“This is part of our wider plans to decentralise strategic oversight of the Thames Gateway, freeing local authorities from the shackles of Whitehall dictat.”
Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation (TTGDC) will cease operation and become part of Thurrock Borough Council from 1 April 2012. The company will move into the Council’s premises by March 2011 to work more closely with the council ahead of the change and ensure that vital efficiency savings can be made as soon as possible. The treatment of the assets currently held by TTGDC will be considered as part of the detailed arrangements for the transfer.