Monday, December 5, 2022

Controversial lorry park to be closed down (in four years)

PLANNING INSPECTOR, Pete Drew has ordered the Titan Works lorry park in Oliver Road to close down in four years.

His decision comes after a recent planning inquiry held at the council offices in Civic Road, Thurrock.

The details published today are as follows:

1) The use hereby permitted shall be for a limited period being the period of 4 years from the date of this decision.

2) At the end of the 4 year period, the use hereby permitted shall cease, all vehicles and equipment brought on to the land in connection with the use shall be removed and the land shall be restored to its condition before the use commenced. For the avoidance of doubt this latter term shall be taken to include the removal of all modular buildings, including the security office/gatehouse building, the floodlights, the perimeter fencing and the hardstanding.

3) The use shall cease, all vehicles and equipment brought on to the land in connection with the use shall be removed and all associated operational development, comprising of hard-standing, the erection of floodlights and boundary fencing, and the siting of modular buildings shall be demolished and their constituent elements removed from the land within 3 months of the date of failure to meet any requirement set out in (i) to (v) below:-

i) within 3 months of the date of this decision details of: (a) the position, height, design, materials and level of illumination of the floodlights [“the lighting scheme”]; (b) the position of existing and proposed foul and surface water drainage runs, including drains, and details of oil interceptors [“the drainage scheme”]; and (c) soft landscaping at the south-west end of the site, beyond parking space Nos 357 and 358 on drawing No TPS03290 Issue B, and the area between the canteen, as annotated on drawing No TPS03290 Issue B, and Oliver Road [“the landscaping scheme”], shall be submitted for the written approval of the Local Planning Authority;

ii) within 11 months of the date of this decision the lighting scheme, the drainage scheme and the landscaping scheme shall have been approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority or, if the Local Planning Authority refuse to approve any scheme or fail to give a decision within the prescribed period, an appeal shall have been made to, and accepted as validly made by, the Secretary of State;

iii) if an appeal is made in pursuance of (ii) above, that appeal shall have been finally determined and the submitted scheme[s] shall have been approved by the Secretary of State;

iv) within 3 months of the date of its written approval, whether by the Local Planning Authority or the Secretary of State on appeal, the approved lighting scheme and the approved drainage scheme shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details of each scheme and they shall thereafter be retained in accordance with the approved details and, as appropriate, the manufacturers instructions unless otherwise required to be removed pursuant to condition 2;

v) within 3 months of the date of its written approval, whether by the Local Planning Authority or the Secretary of State on appeal, or the end of the next planting season following the date of its written approval, whichever is the later, the approved landscaping scheme shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details. Any trees or plants which within a period of 2 years from implementation.

Full reaction from a number of parties to follow.

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. The result that temporary permission be allowed for a period of four years is a fair one given that people were badly served by a disgustingly poor enforcement report that was so biased towards ICG it beggared belief. The fact that Thurrock planners were notably absent for the duration of the inquiry was immediately referred to by ICG’s counsel and fully exploited. While Mr Forde of Smart Planning had researched the lorry park– there were questions that he was patently unable to answer. The Planning Inspector disallowed policies referred to by Mr Forde- because they were absent from the enforcement report. WHY?

    Given that Thurrock is unique in that it is disproportionate re logistics and the amount of HGV traffic generated and with the proximity of the M25 and A13, the Planning Inspector referred to CSTP17 stating that there is no clear distinction re logistics, haulage or footloose lorries. Further supported by the fact that logistics accounts for over fifth of employment. A poor uninformed policy. WHY?

    The Planning Inspector also stated that S.106 monies had not been sought by Thurrock. The Inspector could have made a case for them – but they were not asked for- I think the huge question is WHY……………………………………………..?

    The LDF has been ongoing for years- how fortuitous that the ‘Overnight HGV Parking in Thurrock’ report was on the website in good time for the appeal and so positive towards the Titan Lorry Park and could be used by ICG and the Planning Inspector. However, no report at all submitted by Thurrock to oppose ICG’s argument about traffic in the local area, when a £40,000 report by Mouchel was in existence . WHY

    ICG are given planning permission in 2006 – 06/00970/FUL for a widening of a road that is an officer delegated decision. The informative is that it is not to be used for a lorry park. This was its sole purpose and yet there was no action. WHY?

    Bill Newman acknowledges ‘tolerating’ and under-enforcing on this lorry park and wrote to the TTGDC in Nov 10 ”The Officer report to the Planning Committee reflected this position, recommending “under-enforcement” and so my officers are unlikely to be able to sustain a credible witness position”. The report referred to was the enforcement report. A report that subsequently cost thousands, paid for by residents and taxpayers, in legal fees and for an independent company to replace Thurrock planners. Where is his remit to do this and WHY?

    I refer to minutes from a meeting with Mr Millard and the TTGDC in April 2007 where he talks about him and Bill Newman making a case for an exception for ICG making a highways contribution by the lorry park being seen as temporary (e.g. up to five years). Where is their remit to do this and WHY?

    NOW FOR THE REST OF THE SITE

    ICG construct buildings and plant of mammoth size and dimensions without one piece of planning, from apparently the year 2000 and up to 2009. ICG invest millions of pounds without being certain that they would not be made to demolish/dismantle them? WHY?

    As a Tier 1 chemical site- there would undoubtedly be input from Thurrock’s Environmental Health Officers. Construction of buildings and plant on this scale over eleven years for chemical processing and storage could not have taken place without the involvement of the planning department, yet not one piece of action is taken. WHY?

    See statement above- all construction of buildings, installation of plant and machinery was without the input of Building Control and therefore any adherence to building safety regulations. The last licence issued by Building Control was in 1999. People are told that this was done retrospectively in March 2011 but no detailed report is issued. WHY?

    In October 2010 a complaint was made and information sought about all buildings without planning on this site. It has taken ten months of unclear, incomplete, vague and incorrect information to be produced to date and still the planning department continue to avoid and evade a full and complete answer. Why?

    Hectares of land that did not have planning in 1998 have now seemingly gained planning by virtue of the fact that planning did nothing about it for ten years. WHY?

    An enforcement report prepared for Aug 11 planning committee makes reference to two buildings that were on the land identified above and that are now (according to information supplied by ICG) have been completed nearly four years ago and accordingly it would not be expedient to enforce on. These are buildings of 1,785 and 1,370 square metres, that are called permitted development when they are clearly unlawful development. Why has this been allowed? The report also refers to Caustic Storage Tanks above the permitted height (they are 22 metres high, 21 metres in diameter) unless they have replaced something there previously of that height. Planning say there is photographic evidence but not included it as part of the report. The enforcement report also makes one broad sweeping statement that 5 buildings in the planning area with no dimensions, no start/completion dates and no locations are permitted development. WHY?

    In October 2010 a complaint was made that incorrect business rates were being applied. Aerial photographs were supplied to support this. On 7 July, planning stated that ‘the Council is satisfied that the appropriate level of business rates is being levied on this site’. The Valuation Office totally disagrees. This is lost income over at least five years. Why?

    The TTGDC were the planning authority and they regularly requested that Thurrock enforce on this lorry park for 4 years. The Planning Inspector in his report, rightly referred to PPG18 which “records that failure to take effective enforcement action has been held to be maladministration” Strange statement – WHY?

    To conclude – this is not just about a lorry park. This is about systematic abuse of residents and taxpayers. This is about ICG sticking up their fingers at all of Thurrock re planning fees, building control fees, contribution to highways, S.106 monies and business rates and being allowed to do so. This is at the very least maladministration. I think it is about time Thurrock answered WHY

  2. That’s right Donavan but don’t hold your breath Thurrock council has failed the residents by not collecting rates and 106 money. Nevertheless if a resident is overdue with their rent or council tax money you are sent court dates so there are many questions that need to be answered by the Thurrock council’s legal department. All we heard about is cuts in Thurrock in the new budget that affects each and every one of our communities. Yet you allow this company not to contribute to the highways either, rates, 106. It STINKS the residents of Thurrock have had enough
    Perhaps Goodmans the company that are in the middle of completing their obligations on the site next door to ICG Should ask Thurrock councils planning department . Why they had to pay 106 money planning application money and go through every assessment environmental and ecological assessment also Natural England and flood risk highways agency wildlife jump through every hoop when ICG get it all for zilch it seems a donation and the use of a port -cabin with no planning go a long way in Thurrock

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