Friday, January 27, 2023

Meeting over Belhus lorry park raises more questions than answers

A ROUND TABLE discussion between all the key players involved in the dispute over the controversial development in the Howard Tenens site in Stifford Road, Aveley has raised more questions than answers.

As has become the norm in Thurrock, the matter of a lorry park has become a complicated issue. Suffice to say that this one involves the matter of an enforcement notice and the allegation of building on green belt land.

The matter is the subject of a planning inquiry next month but the group of councillors, businessmen and residents gathered together to discuss a number of the issues

For the sake of clarity YourThurrock has been given the minutes of the meeting and will publish them below.

But at the heart of the confusion is a series of seemingly contradictory statements by Belhus councillor Charlie Curtis.

In the middle of the meeting, the minutes state that he said he would be prepared to speak to planners about revoking the enforcement notices. A noble attempt. He may not get very far but you can only try.

The confusion arrives when reference is made to the details of a planning application regarding the site. The application makes reference to a road which would take traffic off the Stifford Road and around the side of the site.

In the meeting, the Belhus councillor asked “when the additional road had been proposed as he wasn’t aware of this in the application.”

But this appears to contradict his statement at a planning meeting at the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation (DC) meeting last year, when cllr Curtis made direct reference to the road and its siting stating: “You will know Mr Chairman that your organisation and mine (Veoila Markdyke Trust) have plans for that area.

YT will be looking for clarification from the Belhus councillor when we catch up with him as he seeks re-election in the local election campaign on May 5th.

For sake of clarity, here are the minutes that, we understand, have agreed by all those present.

Howard Tenens have a number of sites throughout the UK, and in 13 years have only sold 1 site as it was too small for their use. The Stifford Road site was bought in 2003, and includes the woodlands and recreation area.

Q. DL “Is Howard Tenens and illegal lorry park?”

A. DM HT site is all in Green Belt and has been developed since pre-war times. 18 acres of the site is classed as Major Development Site and Howard Tenens have developed outside of this boundary without permission. This is the area subject to enforcement notices. However, as this land had been previously developed, HT were not aware that they did not have the right to do so.
The rest of the site – the MDS – is operating with permission. Companies that are on site use lorries for business – the site is not used just for rest stops, so is not a lorry park (Truck Stop).

Q. CC “Is Chep Pallets owned by HT?”

A. No. Chep is a tenant on the site. They lease the land from HT.

Q. DL “The woodland is dying, what are the plans for this if planning permission is agreed”

Environmental surveys have shown that the sycamore has become more prevalent at the expense of native species, many of which were destroyed during the storm of `86.
Programme includes, clearing the woods, adding a footpath, removal of sycamore to encourage the re-establishment of native species.
Additional income is required to do all the listed improvements, and the expansion of the site into the area currently under the enforcement will generate that.

Highways have said that the current entrance is not ideal and agree that it should be moved. Through the enforcement appeal it has been proposed to relocate the entrance to the east of the existing entrance and carry out additional landscaping. If the appeal against the refused planning application is dismissed and the appeal on HT’s enforcement is successful the new entrance to the east will go ahead.

If the appeal is successful against TTGDC’s refusal of the planning application, the entrance will be relocated to the west through Hangman’s Wood, which is the best proposed solution for local residents as it will take all HGV movements away from nearby houses.

This proposed roadway through the woodland for HT’s main planning application appeal will be staked out, and all were invited to see how this will look, only two native trees will need to be removed for this to go through the woodland.


If HT planning application appeal is successful,new entrance will be created through the woodland woods will be tidied and managed recreation area will be created improvements will be made to Sandy Lane restriction to stop HGV’s travelling through Aveley village. The Stifford Road layby will be removed

If HT lose planning but overturn the enforcement notices still make improvements to woodland contribute to improvements to r/bout on Stifford Road entrance will be moved towards properties alongside current office buildings create recreation area

If HT planning app is unsuccessful and enforcements upheld land outside the MDS will be reinstated to green belt no additional funds available for improvements
the MDS site will remain

Q. CS “what can HT do about HGV’s currently breaching the South Road 7.5 tonne restriction? If the entrance is moved, will HT guarantee that all HGV’s accessing site would not use North Road, South Road, Arisdale Ave, Stifford Road, Daiglen Drive?”

HT will sign up to a restrictive route subject to winning either the planning or enforcement appeal that will mean HGV’s using Sandy Lane/Stifford Road, and are looking to implement an island that will force all vehicles leaving the site to turn left.

SC explained that, following complaints from Aveley residents, a process was put in place to deal with drivers reported for using an inappropriate route. They are reported to their company, and the companies have imposed fines on the drivers. Complaints from Aveley residents have reduced significantly.
SL made the point that signage to South Ockendon is inadequate and additional signage directing traffic through Sandy Lane would prevent HGV traffic from coming in through the Sainsbury’s roundabout and down into Stifford Road at Ford Place.

Q.CS “How many local people work on the site and will the new development create local jobs”

Approx 80% of current workforce come from Thurrock and the new development should create approximately 200 jobs.

It will, however, also generate 1000 movements per day,
as a maximum. This will be a restrictive covenant that stops lorries escalating beyond this number surveys in the past have shown upto 750 lorry movements over a 24 hr period in the past with the present occupations

PP expressed the view that long term jobs are more beneficial than short term construction jobs for the existing community. CC said he would be prepared to speak to planners about revoking the enforcement notices.

CC asked when the additional road had been proposed as he wasn’t aware of this in the application, but SC assured him that moving the entrance was the priority for residents, and had been included when the plan was drawn up. This had been shared with ward members, and a letter sent to new ward members in summer 2010.

Q. SL “has this extension been refused due to the approved development on the Aveley by-pass, as it will devalue new properties?”

No, because the route will be in place before the properties are built, and therefore new residents will factor this in when they decide to buy move there.

Q. AA “Have HT felled ancient oaks on the site or destroyed any ancient woodland”

HT did clear a section of woodland from a previously quarried area of the site, to prevent vandalism. Youths were also hiding there and firing air rifles into the site at vehicles and guards. There were no Tree Preservation Orders on the trees and none were more than 25 years old. The Forestry Commission did contact HT to advise them that due to the number of trees felled, they should have made an application, even though the area was not subject to TPO.

Natural England have said that due to the sycamore, doing nothing with the woodland is not beneficial, and with 20 years management, the restored woodland should become strong enough to self-sustain.

Q. AA “Why cant the new road run around the outside of the woodland rather than cut through it?”

Following discussion with AA to this effect, HT made enquiries with the Highways Agency who own the land between HT site and the M25. HA require land for future potential development of the M25 and are not minded to sell.

HT arboriculturalist is of the opinion that removing the strong rooted species of trees from the perimeter of the woodland, which have the strongest root systems would expose the weaker trees, which would then out them at risk in high winds.

SUPPORT OR AGAINST the recommendation from DM is for residents to attend the hearing on 10th May, Council Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays.

GAS CANNISTERS these had been raised as a health and safety issue following concerns from residents, after an explosion in N. London.
The Health and Safety Exec have been out to visit the site, and recommendations from the Fire Officer have been complied with.
By April a new temporary gas filling station will be operational which will negate the need for canisters on site.

In Attendance:
Dan Morris – Howard Tenens
Steve Coombes _ Howard Tenens
Dee Lodge – resident
Simon Lodge – resident
Peter Perrin – resident
Chris Savill – Truckwatch
Amanda Arnold – Councillor Ockendon
Wendy Herd – Councillor Aveley
Charlie Curtis – Councillor Belhus


  1. Dave Peterson, what on earth have your comments got to do with the above post?
    I have read your comments on Your Thurrock and you seem to harp on about the same thing? I wonder if you understand good parenting? I for one can only admire mothers who are able to Multi-Task. So please do us a favour talk about something of interest, maybe you would be well advised to seek counselling for your obsession re Cllr Arnold and her family?

  2. If the Belhus councillors had listerned to the residents whos lives have been blighted by this problem of lorries entering and leaving the Howard Tenens yard, instead doing there own thing, all this so called confusion could have been sorted out many months ago, and as for the SORA secret organisation, that only meets, to pat each other on the back, they havent done anything to help or aid, the very residents they portray, to help, they just quoted some excuse about, I quote “Its not Legal so we cant help” un quote, we are getting help now from, Tory councillors from other areas, who are keen to see that we, live a peaceful lives again, I have read the above minutes of the meeting, one comment worthy of note, was that the lorry park isnt used as a lorry park, I suggest they take at the TV series that featured Eddie Stobart, in one of the programmes, a lorry arrives at the compound, and is seen sleeping overnight in his lorry, because he as run out of driving hours??, I dont suppose that was the first or last time that as happened, despite all the talks and discussions that have taken place, the residents affected by this yard, are still waiting for someone to make a decision, that will mean the end to all of our suffering, we pay our rent and taxes to Thurrock Council, so why are they letting this happen to there tenants, and home owners along Stifford Road.
    One last comment I see that Chris Savill- Truckwatcher, surely it should have Labour councillor LAP DOG.

  3. Danny the clip of the tv programme you are refering to doesn’t go to that truck park it went to the Titan truck park in west thurrock wich is another bone of contetnion with local residents .

  4. Once again the residents are in confusion and I am not surprised considering our Belhus Councillors are constantly telling the residents that Howard Tenens are an illegal lorry park.Lets make this clear once and for all, Howard Tenens are infact a trailer park and has never been a lorry park.
    If we are confused, so are our three Belhus councillor’s, not one of them have been able to give accurate information to the residents,but then thats not surprising when Stifford Clays councillor Diana Hale (Portfolio for Education) it seems has been ill advising the three. It turns out that the ancient woodland that these four, councillors say Howard Tenens have destroyed, is infact nothing to do with Howard Tenens land, they all seem to have been shouting about the wrong woodland, oh dear, I can only assume their IQ is below par to get this so wrong.

  5. I would like to thank Mgriffiths91, for hes help, I have been in touch with Eddie Stobarts regarding the clip we saw on TV, they confirmed that it was Howard Tenens yard in Stifford Road, where they have upto fifty trailers parked there, thats not including other lorries and trailers from all over the Europe, it is little wonder then that, we suffer from increased AIR Pollution and Noise Pollution from the yard, what we all want is for everybody to get together, and move the MAIN ENTRANCE further along, Stifford Road, and away from our front doors,
    surely it isnt to much to want and hope for is it ??!!, we have all received leaflets for the forth coming local elections, the Labour party are promising us all, a better standard of life in the Belhus Ward, well if tthey can manage it this time, it will be the first time they have acheived it, because certain Labour ward councillors, think that the Belhus area starts and ends on the Flowers Estate, and at the Forum, Derwent Parade, that is where all there croonies come from when anything happens to them like, the Howard Tenens affair, instead of helping hundreds of Home owners and Council Tenants who signed a petition to get the main gates moved five hundred yards up the road, so that we all could get a life again, no they went on about its not legal, and they have chopped down ancient woodlands, none it was true, as they have now found out, My vote is going over to Tory, as they are the only party that wants to help us, I also heard that a certain Labour councillor cant even chair the SORA, without throwing all her toys out of the pram, because she cant get her own way, they are bunch of losers as far we are concearned in the part of Belhus you dont ever visit, because you have all lost the script, regarding our needs, dont forget Voters are your life line without us you are nothing…

  6. The letter we have just received from Thurrock Council re the hearing at the civic Offices Grays on 10th May regarding Top-Pave is infact Howard Tenens hearing. I am wondering if it a deliberate ploy to stop the Belhus residents from turning up? Nice try John Kent.

  7. Well spotted Nomad, it does look like another ploy, of the councils to ignore us
    because they are inadequate in there jobs, ie knowing where forests are, and where meetings are going to be held etc, still certain councillors might not be there if SORA, are meeting on the same night!, I only hope they not where to come for votes, in the coming local elections.
    Weve had no leaflets promising us things our councillors cant give us, last time there were local elections, we were promised and I Quote “If you have any problems or questions at anytime of the day ring good old Charlie or Wendy and not forgetting Miss SORA 2010 good old Sue” well we did all 400 of us in the Belhus ward, and what happened suprise suprise, NOTHING, well theres a suprise?, I for one hope and wish that you dont get one single vote, because you dont deserve it, you have all forgotten what you were elected to do, to help and assist all of your people in your ward, not just one little part of it, ie Flowers Estate.
    I have been looking out of my window overlooking the Stifford Road, and have seen four Eddie Stobart lorries leave Howard Tenens Yard, in the last fifteen minutes, not bad for a Sunday afternoon, I suppose there will be more, there usually is, we have complained about the lorries in this area, but not once have we had a response from our so called LABOUR COUNCILLORS in the BELHUS WARD, they have been good to the Boy Scouts and the Old age pensioners christmas party funds, and to all those people who got new front doors, the other week, I got news for you, you were down to get them at any rate, still if you believe the SPIN from good old Charlie and his flying circus good for you, I only hope that good old JOHN KENT, is proud of your fellow councillors, who have been branded Racist and Liars in this Belhus Ward, something to be proud of isnt it Mr,J.KENT

  8. I have just read that Thurrock Council is going to organise specia Easter Fun, in the Belhus ward it will be called, find the Queen of SORA, she hasnt been to happy lately because, she was made to do things she didnt want to do?, she wanted to close her hive down, because she accused certain bees of being Wasps, so she wanted to close the hive down, but she was told she couldnt, because she was being a silly old queen, so she went off in a huff, and cried, arrrrr. the Truckwatcher will be there playing with his Tonka Toy, hopefully on the, Outside lane of the M25.

  9. Watch out Danny, You will have (Sting, Aaron Kieley Labour) preaching that the above post is all lies, and how dare we talk about his best friends unkindly. You are right Danny, you can only look at this Labour bunch as they are. Remember what Mrs Lodge said at the full council meeting to John Kent (you are not fit for purpose) I think she was also relaying that about the Labour councillors, and how right she is. Charlie Curtis has made himself look a right CHARLIE in front of the Managment (Howard Tenens) and the COUNCILLORS -RESIDENTS by saying he was not aware that the plans were to have the entrance moved, and yet the residents were aware of it, and that he was prepared to lift the enforcement notices because he had got it wrong. Well he seems to have got himself in a right pickle. I wonder if Chris Savill was offered a replica of a stobart lorry to play with to keep him quiet during the meeting, he must still be playing with it because he has been very quiet on your thurrock.

  10. Well it just goes to prove the more incompetent you are, the further you will go, it seems how very own Cheerfull Charlie Curtis as been made Mayor and his good wife receives the Mayoress job, but there isnt anything for the Queen of Sora, or her pet joker alias Lorry Counter, perhaps now good old charlie is mayor they will give him a map of the Belhus Ward, so that he can find out that it covers vast areas he never went to, because everything he did started and ended on the flowers estate, where he as his palace.
    I think Mr.Kent as given good old charlie the mayors job to get, rid of him so that he doesnt embarasse the Labour party anymore, he made one gaffe after another at meetings with Howard Tenens, one thing good old charlie should know, Tell the truth and people will respect you, tell lies and people will always condemn you, we the tenants of Stifford Road and Aveley were told lies after lies by Charlie Curtis and his bunch of croonies, still he cant do any harm now he is Mayor of Thurrock, or can he??..

  11. I was pleased to see good old charlie curtis, with his chain around his neck, opening everything in sight, also pulling pints of beer, its good to see he is good at something, at least he can see how big the borough of Thurrock is ?, perhaps he will, look up the tenants of the Belhus ward, you know charlie the ones you wouldnt talk to, about anything, even at the meetings with the top official planning officials, you tried to tell lies, didny you, but you got found out that you had been telling Porky Pies to everybody at the meeting, oh dear it didnt seem to matter did it, They made you the Mayor of Thurrock, what does that tell you about, the Labour group in Thurrock ?!. Its about time the Labour group got its act together, and remember who voted them in, and why, I know there will be jobs for the boys, just to keep them happy, but to put odd balls in the top job, just to get rid of them, because they embarressed other members of the party, is stupid, he didnt even represent 75% of the people in the Belhus ward, he was to busy helping people in the Ockendon ward, and on the Flowers estate because he lives there,wake upMr.J.Kent before its to late…


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