Sunday, December 3, 2023

“Is the council planning department still alive?” asks lorry park lawyer

THIS was the first question that the Titan Lorry Park lawyer asked planning consultant Russell Forde on the second day of the public inquiry into the unauthorised lorry park in Oliver Road, West Thurrock.

For the first day and a half there had been constant references to meetings, e-mails, telephone calls that planning supremos Bill Newman and Andrew Millard had had with a variety of people involved with the matter, so it was a slightly exasperated Mr Lowe who used this question as an opening salvo in his examination of Mr Forde.

Mr Forde replied that he wasn’t up to speed with the state of health of the planning officers at Thurrock Council.

In front of a gallery with members of the Parents against Lorry Parks, Mr Forde fielded a number of questions regarding the park which is the subject of an enforcement notice in relation to a number of its activities.

He outlined that the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation (DC) and Thurrock Council had two plans for the borough: The Masterplan and the Local Development Framework (LDF). The plan was that they would both dovetail into a coherent plan.

It was here that he began his critique of the lorry park.

“Their plans are flawed. There is no reference to strategic nature of riverside and no connectivity with other developments.

“This area has been marked out as a key economic hub in the whole of the country. There is more to being part of a logistics area than concrete and razorwire.

He added: “This has been built and developed according to the lowest common denominator. If you look at the aerial shots it appears that they have done nothing to it.

Under cross examination, Mr Forde confirmed that the presence of ICG in Oliver Road had been welcomed by Thurrock Council and confirmed that 22% of jobs in the Thurrock area were dependent on the logistics industry.

Mr Forde said: “But what you have here, to all intents is simply a park. Neighbouring applications from Proctor and Gamble and the Co-Op are “by the book” applications with higher environmental expectations.

Earlier in the day, ICG’s planning consultant Brian Pooley gave some stark warnings if the enforcement went ahead.

He said: “We could comply in 28 days but there would be total chaos in the borough with lorries everywhere including up streets but severe implications for jobs.

“He added. You will have a situation where Thurrock may not have a lorry park until 2014.”

Mr Pooley reaffirmed that there was a stark contrast between the DC’s officer Nigel Hepburn’s attitude which was “one of enforcement” to the council’s Andrew Millard which was “one of support.”

Mr Pooley outlined a number of meetings with council members and officers. He was probed on several occasions as to why they did not put in a full request for planning permission. One reason proffered was: “Planning permission is difficult in Thurrock. Outside it is different.”

ICG lawyer Mr Lowe read out several testimonies from companies in England and France which stressed the importance of the Titan lorry park to their business.

The inquiry continues.


  1. I thought I read somewhere in previous blogs mr pooley was a former employee of Thurrock council ?. Sounds like the ole boy network pulling strokes doesnt it. I wonder if I was to build a new extension, a front porch, a garage, a swimming pool within my property boundary and speak to certain charming people as reported recently within this website whether they would put in a good word for me, do you think I would get away with permitted development ?.

  2. Don’t worry about an extension just put two three bedroom houses in your back garden because this company can Colin. Sounds like the advert for B&Q so you can do it if you B&Q it
    We can do it if ICG can do it.

  3. has this land been earmarked for anything else? we certainly do not need yet more dwellings in the area, Thurrock is slowly becoming over-populated as it is?

    I agree that correct planning approval has not been given for this lorry park and this should go through due process and a soultion found, maybe a compromise would be to retain the lorry park until 2014 when a new one can be located and built and then move to the new park, this is only 3 years away, this would then at least keep the jobs available and stop the problem of lorries parking all over the borough if this was closed down and no replacement near completion.

  4. LAMBO why don’t you apply for a job in planning you sound just the kind of person the planning department needs this company hasn’t paid a single penny in 106 money planning applications nor rates but just let them roll on to 2014 why all the rest of us pay our rates and have to abide by the rules what you seem to forget Lambo on the other side of this site owned by the same company there are nine air craft hanger size buildings there with no planning permission no building control or anything else and these haven’t paid any rates they haven’t had any building control they’ve not paid 106 money no rates no planning application money and if it’s had no planning there’s no safety control and this is on a chemical site hope that answers your question Lambo.

  5. Cheers Albert, maybe I will apply to the planning department, and maybe you could apply for the Public Relations department 🙂

    Hmm so you agree that people should be paying their rates etc, unless of course you are a councillor living in Tilbury????

    You always seem quick to jump up and down waving that Red flag but don’t come up with any practical solutions, I agree that whoever was sitting on the planning committee or in cahrge of the Council, be that Tory or Labour are all complicit in this mess and something need to be done about it; however I assume that this site and the hangers have been in existance for quite a while now and nothing has been done by either party controlling the council so why the urgency to make amends, is somebodys job on the line here or is this subject to an external investigation?

    I agree that planning regulations have to be made and signed off and this was not the case in this issue but then again how many other business/residential areas have been put up without planning, was Buckles Lane subject to full dwelling planning permission, to name just one, we can’t be selective over the whole subject, if TBC are pushing this issue about non planning permission, which personaly I believe they should by the way, then they need to check the book on all their planning applications and then remove any dwellings/buildings etc that have flouted the regulations.

  6. I wonder if anybody has these dates?

    1) The date the motion at full council was debated on introducing lorry parks in Thurrock.
    2) The date of the first donation from ICG to Thurrock Tories.
    3) The date the LDF working group agreed the West Thurrock lorry park go forward as a potential site for a lorry park in the LDF.
    4) The date of the second ICG donation to Thurrock Tories.

  7. Dave Peterson Tilbury, why are any of your questions relevant? This is not just an issue for the local Tories it is an issue for the whole council. Besides, I think you will find that companies are quite legally allowed to donate to Political parties of all colours. Would you be happy to see this site closed down? Would you also be happy with the number of jobs lost because of the closure? Would you be happy with the number of lorries prowling the borough looking for somewhere to park?
    It is scandalous that this site has not (if it’s true) paid any rates for years and that has to be remedied and quickly. But we are where we are and Tilbury is earmarked for massive redevelopment and most of it is industrial. The site should stay, it should be made to comply with all appropriate environmental legislation and it should be made to pay it’s back rates.


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