First day proceedings of West Thurrock lorry park inquiry

UNDER THE stewardship of planning inspector, Pete Drew, the inquiry into the enforcement notice in respect of the “unauthorised” lorry park at Oliver Road, West Thurrock got underway at the Thurrock Council civic offices.

It hardly attracted great interest. Activist Denise Donovan was unable to attend due to illness but former council leader Ann Andrews took copious notes whilst Thurrock Conservative councillors clearly were on a duty parade to attend every minute of the inquiry. Members of the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation’s Planning Dept also took a keen interest on events.

The inquiry is only expected to last two days with tomorrow afternoon dedicated to a site visit.

The morning session consisted of legal housekeeping and opening salvos from both sides.

For the council, legal representation drew the inquiries attention to the basic “raison d’etre” of the council’s plans, strategies and frameworks that were all focussed on a “renaissance of Thurrock and the Thames gateway of the highest order”

He made specific reference to the need to need to “Sort out the ad hoc, inchoate urban design”

He made reference to the number of plans under the umbrella of the local development framework (LDF) in Purfleet, Lakeside, Tilbury that are tasked with bringing 26,000 jobs to the borough.

He said: Unauthorised developments have been allowed to perpetuate over the years.”

Representing ICG Ltd, Mr Lowe opened his remarks by making reference to the fact that ICG were in the heart of a logisitics cluster alongside Vopak, Proctor and Gamble and the Co-Op.

Mr Lowe also made reference to the help the lorry park gives to Vopak where lorries pick up 15 million litres of fuel.

He said: “Vopak have plans to expand and will need secure off road parking.”

The inquiry continues.

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