Mrs Harris’ Attic: “Have We Not Just Contradicted Ourselves?”

JUST moments after Thurrock Council’s Planning Committee gave an unauthorised lorry park in West Thurrock just twenty eight days notice to cease functioning, the council then allowed a Thurrock Council employee to overturn an enforcement notice in relation to her loft converion in Stifford Clays.

The committee heard that planning permission for the loft conversion was applied for by Vertex worker, Wendy Harris, 15 Silverwood Close, Stifford Clays and refused in March 2006.

In October 2006, a complaint was received that construction of the rear dormer had gone ahead.

The Enforcement Notice meant demolition of the rear dormer, re-instate the ridge height of the roof to match No 13 and 17 Silverwood Close and re-instate the roof tiles to match those existing.

Mrs Harris told the committee that although No 64 Stifford Clays Road had complained three years ago, they no longer had an objection. She also highlighted that there was no notification of enforcement for over three years.

Ward Councillor Angie Gaywood spoke on Mrs Harris’ behalf. She said: “This is all a matter of millimetres. Under planning guidelines, is this not seen as a breach as it is a “trivial” measurement”.

In discussion, most councillors agreed that the matter was “farcical” and that they should reject the enforcement.

Head of Planning, Andrew Millard reminded the committee that: “it was a question of law.”

Councillor Rob Gledhill reflected on the debate and decision that had taken place over the Titan Lorry Park.

He said: “Have we just not had a huge discussion on this matter regarding lorry park and the iron laws of enforcement.”

The committee voted by a majority to reject the Enforcement Notice.

Councillors’ Gledhill and Hipsey voted to enforce.

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