Monday, July 22, 2024

Plans for Tilbury leisure centre rejected

By Myles Cook

PROPOSALS to build a new apartment building on the site of the old leisure centre in Tilbury were discussed in the Planning Committee meeting last night.

Following discussions with local community members, the new proposal included plans for the ground floor of the new building to be set aside for council and community use including some sports and leisure facilities.

A resident representative stated that the height of the building was of concern and felt that the proposals did not take account of the fine example of early town planning that Tilbury represented. The residents have been without a leisure centre for years and the plans did not satisfy resident’s needs, in their opinion.

Mr Stevens, agent for the applicant, stated that the new building kept to the covenant on the site for sport and leisure use with the new proposal and that the project would help regenerate the area. Resident’s concerns over the new building over-looking their properties and the Sure Start centre were taken into account with the new proposals with a stepped approach and landscaped screening.

The committee members were divided on the plans with some praising the developer’s willingness to alter their proposals based on community feedback and in designing an iconic building whilst others found that the height of the building was an issue.

The application was refused, despite the positive aspects, on the grounds of the height of the proposed building by a majority vote.

Polly Billington, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Thurrock, stated that “it was important tonight…that some people recognised that wanting an iconic building doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to have a tall one but any building on that site needs to respect the Civic Square and the fact that it is an important historic place.”

“Overall, the lesson that the council needs to come away from this, and particularly the Planning Committee, they need to start listening more to the community about the kind of place they want Tilbury to be.”


  1. Well done to all councillors for rejecting this plan. Building tall ugly buildings will just give us more work to do in the future when we start knocking them down….just like all the 60s tower blocks which came down around the UK in the 1990s – Thurrock are still to catch up with this policy.


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