Saturday, July 13, 2024

Tory leader calls for Labour planning chair to “go” after Titan lorry park decision

THE LEADER of the Thurrock Conservatives has called on Labour bosses to dump their chair of the planning committee following the decision to allow the Titan lorry park to continue to operate over the next four years.

The inspector’s decision is critical of the 28-day notice championed by Councillor Terry Hipsey, chair of the planning committee.

In his report, planning inspector Mr Pete Drew concluded that the closure of the lorry park at such short notice would be ”contrary to the interests of local residents”, and would “result in a direct loss of employment” affecting local people in already difficult economic circumstances.

Cllr Hipsey pushed through the 28 day enforcement notice in September 2010, going “against the advice of council officers” that this timescale was unworkable.

Conservative leader Cllr Phil Anderson condemned the decision at the time as “gesture politics”, and warned that it would almost certainly be subject to challenge.

Commenting on Friday, Cllr Anderson said: “I am disappointed but sadly not surprised by today’s decision. There has been a lot of public concern about this issue, and it could now be several years before the matter is finally resolved.

“We are left in the very unsatisfactory position where the council cannot enforce against what was previously an illegal site, but the owners do not have the certainty they would need to invest in decent quality facilities for the future.

“The reputation of the planning committee has been compromised and taxpayers money has been wasted on a needless inquiry, with nothing to show for it as a result. I am still genuinely confused about Cllr Hipsey’s motives for forcing through the original decision.

“Either he was very naïve in believing that his heavy handed approach was going to work, or very shrewd and this was actually the outcome that he for some reason wanted all along.

“With Thurrock Council due to take over full planning powers from the Development Corporation in less than 8 months, the Labour party now need to consider whether he is still the right person to lead planning going forwards.”

YT has requested a comment from Thurrock Council and the owners of the Titan Works lorry park, ICG but have not had a reply at the time of going to press.

15 COMMENTS

  1. This “cat and mouse” game of press release politics is becoming particularly tiring. It really smacks of point scoring, as opposed to working to get the best deal for Thurrock residents. With hindsight the 28 day notice has clearly not worked out too well, but at the time I imagine it was an attempt to get the park removed, which is what residents wanted. Officers advice in this instance should have been taken, but this is a Tory created mess in the first place so I don’t see how Cllr Anderson has any “right” to begin calling the shots in light of his own party’s record on planning issues. God help us if we have a Conservative chair of Planning! Really starting to get tired of these Tory press releases, I personally held the view that Aaron Kiely’s comments, while unadvised, weren’t exactly earth shattering. I didn’t see any issue with Cllr Kiely informing residents there were potential problems at Grays, it made me more likely to stay at home, and I don’t think he could be held responsible for the actions of reckless others. I also didn’t see any issue with Cllr Kiely putting forward an argument for why some of those were there in the first place. But yet again out came the attacking Tory press release. In this instance, I’d really like to see both parties getting their heads together and working for the borough, as no one party was voted in to control the authority. There are lessons for both Cllr Hipsey and the Tories to take away from the lorry park debacle – these lessons are unlikely to be learnt as Cllr Anderson is too busy edging his way into the media. I’m assuming this is supposed to come across as “leadership” and “shaping the agenda” but it smacks of arrogance and hostility. No-one likes the cat that got the cream that gloats about it. It does seem, from some of the posts on the Gazette website, that the Tories are so angry at losing Ockendon that it is all out war this year against others. So much for a civilised, mature and professional approach! I’ll manage my expectations accordingly going forward!

  2. I’m going to back Cllr Anderson on this one; I was at the planning meeting to contest a mast installation.

    This was a very heated meeting, lots of angry residents and it was point scoring from Cllr Hipsey for the 28 days! Cllr Anderson advised caution, and if I’m right was one of the only Cllr’s that would not vote for the 28days as it would come back and bite them.

  3. Once you get beyond the agressive tone, I do have some sympathy with the first respondent. Our democracy requires a strong opposition to function effectively, and part of the role of that opposition is to scrutinise and hold to account those in power for their decisions and actions. Criticism is not the part of the role I enjoy most (encouragement is more my natural style), but I am committed to ensuring we do a thorough and robust job of it.

    The other role of the opposition is to suggest positive alternatives and to endorse the work of the administration where they are getting it right. I recently did a long interview with Cllr Kent where we were in almost complete agreement about the Dartford crossing, and you will often hear us welcoming proposals in council meetings too. It may not be quite as newsworthy as a good argument, but it does happen and long may it continue!

  4. How many more calls for resignation is this twerp going to ask for ?. It’s a pity he didn’t take this view of his own who nick wine whilst on official council jolly upsand threaten licencee’s with their business, steal from donated hampers, meet developers

  5. Colin you forgot chasing children down the street and beating them with golf clubs…

    …do expand on the stealing from donated hampers?

    …and an interesting red herring chucked out by Cllr Anderson insinuating Cllr Hipsey wanted the lorry park to continue operating! Perhaps he wants to divert attention away from the donations his party receives from ICG and the very cosy and close relationship certain Tory councillors have with this company! TH

  6. Re: Titan Truckstop, Oliver Road
    When we spoke last night, there was not time to mention a request that I wish to
    make.
    As you may be aware the Council’s Planning Committee resolved that an enforcement notice be served in relation to lorry parking and ancillary development
    on the above site.
    The Notice was served and an appeal has now been lodged on “Ground A” (amongst other grounds). “Ground A” claims that planning permission should be granted. Therefore, the Inspector will consider the deemed application as part of his or her deliberations. As TTGDC would have been the relevant Planning Authority for the determination of any Planning Application that may have been submitted prior to the enforcement notice being served, it seems to me to be appropriate to ask if one of your team would lead on prOViding evidence in relation to the appeal. I am aware that the continued presence of this use has caused consternation to the Corporation. This is in contrast to my own position, which has been to “tolerate” the use pending submission of an application to regulate and limit the use, until permanent provision of alternative facilities can be provided via the Local Development Framework. The Officer report to the Planning Committee reflected this position, recommending “under-enforcement” and 50 my officers are unlikely to be able to sustain a credible witness position.
    Given the regular and clear concern of your officers on this

    THURROCK THAMES GATEWAY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

    I refer to your letter dated 25th November 2010 addressed to Niall Lindsay who has passed it to me for response.
    You will be aware that the Development Corporation has not received any of the following:
    • A copy of the Enforcement Notice that may have been served together with a list of the persons/organisations upon whom/which it was served. Therefore, the Development Corporation is unaware of the nature of the alleged breach of planning control or the reasons why Thurrock Council considered it expedient to serve the Notice.
    • A copy of the appeal that has been lodged. The Development Corporation is unaware of the grounds of appeal.
    • The means by which the appeal will be determined.
    • Correspondence, if any, with the Planning Inspectorate.
    • Copies of formal letters, if any, sent by Thurrock Council to the parties responsible for the alleged breach of planning.

    The Development Corporation brought this issue to the attention of Thurrock Council in July 2007 as it was considered that the responsible local planning authority would wish to bring such a significant and blatant breach of planning law under the remit of the planning control regime. Your statement that Thurrock Council has, “underenforced”, and had been prepared to, “tolerate”, the breach is disingenuous. It is understood that you arranged a meeting(s) with the owners to discuss submission of a planning application. From the evidence available to the Development Corporation, it appears that Thurrock Council failed to effect enforcement action for in excess of 3 years. In addition, the manner in which the site is operated suggests that it does not accord with the role that would be “supported” by the LDF Core strategy,

    Former Thurrock Mayor launches standards investigation into her own actions
    She had been a long-serving member of the committee, which has frequently been mired in controversy and turmoil over its decisions, but the most damning criticism has come her way over her links with the Grays-based Industrial Chemicals Group (ICG), who are based at Titan Works in Grays, and its lorry park in West Thurrock.

    Last week she was named by former councillor Stuart St Clair-Haslam as a key mover behind questionable negotiations between the firm, the Council and the Conservative group of councillors in Thurrock.

    “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.

    Mystery man in cllr Redsell film revealed as Orsett property developer (and was once a Scottish Baron!)
    THE MYSTERY man at the centre of the secret film which led to the expulsion of cllr Joy Redsell from the Thurrock Council planning committee has been revealed as an Orsett property developer.
    Conservative sources have revealed that the man in question is John Isabel from Rectory Road in Orsett. Mr Isabel is part of the Brentwood-based Clearbrook Group Ltd.
    Their offices in Brook House, Brentwood are near to the Marygreen Manor Hotel where cllr Redsell and Mr Isabel were secretly filmed.
    Cllr Redsell apologised for not following council code of conduct over the meeting and subsequently did not put her name forward for this years planning committee.

    Cllr Redsell apologised for not following council code of conduct

    Redsell scandal: “Harassment and political troublemaking” claims Tory leader
    IT IS clear that there are many people upset at the circumstances surrounding the decision by councillor Joy Redsell to step down from the planning committee at Thurrock Council.
    There remain a number of unanswered questions. One such question is: How many other planning applications were discussed in this manner? If there were others, then will they need to come back to some form of appeal?
    After last nights council meeting, YT spoke to Conservative leader, Phil Anderson about cllr Redsell’s decision. Cllr Anderson used the term “political troublemaking” several times.
    In his speech in the chamber he made reference to “ethical governance” in the council. It will be interesting to see how that pans out in the coming months.

    well how many ?

    Mr. Anderson has you can see from these comments it’s rather obvious where the responsibility falls. It is apparent beyond doubt Thurrock planning department collectively with the former ruling Tory administration who caused this entire situation in the first place. How an earth you could even consider to slander this Chairman of the planning committee for expressing the concerns of 2000 residents who elected people like yourself. Unquestionably you are trying to make this political yet again and acquire some media attention but one thing you failed to do is tell the truth At least this councilor speaks on the behalf of the residents’ concerns nothing like yourself because it has been verified the Tories lobbied for this company FACT RELENTLESSLY FOR 4 YEARS

    The reputation of the planning committee has been compromised by CLLR REDSELL you didn’t mention the correct Councilor another blunder on your part and why haven’t you made this woman GO FOR GOOD
    NOW YOU HAVE MADE A COMMENT ON THIS SITE PRAHAPS YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THE CORRESPONDENCE ABOVE ALL TRUE FACTS .AS YOU CAN SEE AND PARHAPS YOU CAN INFORM THE RESIDENTS OF THURROCK HOW YOUR INVESTAGATION INTO CLLR REDSELL IS GOING ? CONSIDERING THAT’S SHE HAS ALREADY CONFESSED TO BREAKING THE CODE OF CONDUCT. WHAT STAGE ARE YOU UP TO IN YOUR INVESTIGATION AS YOU HAVE NOT INFORMED ANY ONE UP TILL NOW OR MADE A STATEMENT. OR IS THIS ANOTHER ONE TO BE SWEPT UNDER THE CARPET I LOOK FORWARD FOR A SPEEDY RESPONSE BUT WON’T HOLD MY BREATH

  7. Sadly this may not be the last case of muddle between officers / politicians. I am afraid that Local Politicians simply do not have the time and at times the ability to deal with the complex issues that face Thurrock. Simply allowing officers then to interpret policies as Politicians cannot make decisions has been rive and when matters go wrong almost civil war breaks out between Officers and the Members. More public engagement is required. Good on the residents who continued to push for answers on this issue.

  8. VINCE63 This is not a muddle this is Thurrock planning department and the
    former ruling Tory administration covering up for each other but its gonna come out vince and when it does it wont be nice then will ask mister anderson all about it just before he leaves

  9. It is beyond believing that Concillour Anderson has the bare faced cheek to call for the resignation of this honorable man when Anderson has at least three members of his own group, who may it is believed, helped create this fiasco in the first place along with collorabarative officers at Thurrock Council. A few more facts for us all and Anderson to consider –
    Concillour Joy “If you want anything done on planning come see me and I will bring my map with me and consider it a done deal” Redsell (check this out at Thorndon Golf Club with Joys former work colleagues) has yet to deny that she has had a thirty year relationship with the owners of ICG ltd.Furthermore it is recently reported that she lobbyed on behalf of this company and her good and long friends the owners (one of whom regularly at Joys request played at her charity golf days at Thorndon Golf CluB) for this company to be allowed alone to make a presentation to a working group set up to establish lorry parks of which she was a member. Also look up Moreland Ltd in the declarations of donations for the Thurrock Conservative Association and low and behold the owner is none other than Mr Eddy Wright of Langdon Hills Golf Club. Whilst no slur or accusation of wrongdoing is made against this further honourable man, is it another amnesia moment for Joy as she forgot to declare in relation to this when she was on the planning committee for any application or matter concerning this gentleman. Does this woman even understand why it is necessary to make declarations and whether or not she has ever heard of this legal requirement.Then again let us not forget this same woman made a remark at a planning meeting a couple of years ago saying “We should be more like Brentwood Council where they don’t have to make declarations!? You could not write better comedy. By the way Joy all Concillours have to make a judgement as to whether or not it is necessary to make a declaration of a personal and prejudicial interest. Also let us not forget Joy also worked at Langdon Hills Golf Club. It is believed that there is never coincidences with this woman though of course we are open to being corrected by this woman on any of the points of fact made in this blog.Then there is the normally quiet, shy and background liking Concillour Ben Maney who when cabinet member at Thurrock Council for crime prevention and also a member of the working group on lorrys is documented in May 2009 albeit in an exercise to get lorrys off the road, handing out leaflets to lorry drivers. Whilst the exercise was not directing lorrys to the previously unauthorised lorry park at the old West Thurrock Power Station, curiously instead this individual and officers at Thurrock Council presumably with knowledge that one of this sites was an unauthorised site, directed them to two other sites, a further unauthorised lorry park owned and operated by ICG Ltd at there Titan pit off Hogg Lane and the other at the authorised Moto services site at junction 31. We would question why this conservative member and officers of the council choose to direct lorrys to a further unauthorised site run by ICG Ltd particularly when it is the very same site of the infamous Thurrock Tories portakabin office given to the Thurrock Tories effectively rent free by ICG Ltd. There exists record of this lobbying partley on behalf of ICG Ltd that can be found on Thurrock Council’s own website with Mr Maney making it clear that he had authorised this project.Why when he was the cabinet member at the Council for crime prevention was he directing lorrys to yet another unlawful and unauthorised site owned by this company. We thought Councils are obliged to ensure in there practices and procedures that they seek to remove or at least minnimise the incidence of crime and lawful wrongdoing? Why also is it the case that this unauthorised site has never been investigated by Thurrock Council and the portakabin given by ICG to Thurrock Tories and run by them was never granted planning permission? Again this may be open to a perfectly good explanation from this man and subject to this we are open to being corrected other than on the points of fact made.

  10. Dave a former Tory councillor at a recent rotary do at Orsett was telling me about the donated hampers. They were removed from the mayors office after a meeting in feb this year and the contents handed out amongst Tory members in their office.
    Supposedly these hampers came from a religious group based in tilbury and a certain Tory took exception the the quality of the tins of food.
    The Tory who told me felt sick and said how could anyone steal from donated gifts and he would never want to work with the current incumbents ever again.

  11. After reading the blogs it beggars belief that councilor Anderson is still the leader after all the evidence against this lady Redsell and has not told her to resign immediately she has already admitted to breaking the code of conduct in her interview. What is the MONITORING OFFICERS doing at Thurrock Council?
    Wherever is John Kent why is he not answering the public. And the blog above has asked Cllr Anderson to reply to each and every one of the questions also’ about the correspondence from the TTGDC about certain members of the Tory group meeting with this company and encouraging illegal lorry parks. If Cllr Anderson wants to attack anyone it should not be Cllr Hipsey for showing this company they should have applied for a planning application and that’s why you need to be robust or every company would be doing this. he seems to be the only one who is doing anything for the residents Cllr Hipseys hasn’t office on ICG ground or accept donation or had a thirty year relationship with this company Cllr Anderson I believe you are trying to make this a political smear campaign on this gentleman because he is a labor councilor plus councilor Hipsey it was reported on your thurrock about two years ago that Cllr Hipsey went to the police station. This was over something within Thurrock council it could have even been over this whole situation with Joy Redsell G Hauge and Ben Maneys and ICG(WHO KNOWS?) Could this be why he walked the floor because it’s obvious to the public something’s wrong what’s happening in the Tory group. He seems to be an excellent person to speak on the residents behalf!!!!Keep up the hard work Cllr Hipsey from the residents you are fighting for. give consideration to that councilor Anderson. At least Cllr Hipsey has got the date for Lorry Park to stop. Just in time for the new schools and new homes it might have not been in 28 days but it will happen. Would this happen under the Tory administration with what’s in the press I don’t think so

  12. Another week and another press release from Phil Anderson calling for somebody to resign.

    Phil you are getting very repetitive and it is not doing your leadership any favours.You are like a press hungry little boy who throws his toys out the pram on a weekly basis and then runs to the local press to tell them.

    This is the Tory administration mess that has been left for somebody else to clear up so i am surprised that you would want to try and nick a headline on this one.

    Your administration allowed this site to be set up and used.
    Your party that failed to progrss the eviction order.
    Your councillors meeting the lorry park owners who it turns out are ‘personal friends’s.
    Your party using the illegal site as the Thurrock Tory Party office.
    Your councillor who stood down from planning committee after being caught red handed meeting developers.
    Your previous Tory councillor who resigned from the party because of the antics of your party over the lorry park.
    Your councillors who sat in full council and failed to declare their interests on the LDF.

    As you have now commented on the posts for this article perhaps you would like to furnish us with your superior knowledge and answer some of the questions that have been asked of you.

    And as a final comment as a Thurrock resident and council tax payer could you please just get on with the job and stop just pulling stuff to bits and then telling the press about every meeting you or your fellow members have.

    We already expect that you would do it as the oppostition party but dont really need to know about it all on a meeting by meeting blow by blow basis.

  13. Sting this councillor needs al the publicity he can get. Have you not seen they all do.they thrive on it . It’s just a pity they don’t spend more time looking after the people who elected them.
    Seems to me they only worry about one thing INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS

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