Sunday, May 19, 2024

Council backs plans for Purfleet

A NEW look to Purfleet came a bit closer on Thursday (20 December) when Thurrock Council’s planners supported outline permission for The Purfleet Centre – redevelopment of land in the centre of the village.

The council has been leading efforts to secure the comprehensive redevelopment of the area around the rail station.

The aim is to boost the existing community and at the same time ease the effects of recent development patterns.

Proposals for the 58-hectare brownfield site include up to 3,000 new homes; nearly 40,000 square metres of offices, workshops and shops; a new primary school and a health centre; a supermarket; a combined heat-and-power station; and an upgraded railway station.

The council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, Cllr Andy Smith – speaking after Thursday’s decision – said: “The council owns just over half the site having received more than 70 acres from the development corporation.

“It is estimated that around £35 million more needs to come in and Thurrock has committed £11.6 million to support this.”

He added: “This shows our commitment to create something special at Purfleet; something that will be a boon to all existing residents and something which will attract new business, new commerce and new people to the area.

“Although this seems like a lot of money, we estimate that, when complete, this scheme will bring in around £500 million private funding to the area – and that has to be good for everyone.

“This sort of process is never totally smooth, but we will get there and then everyone will see the difference.”

Cllr Martin Healy, who chaired Thursday’s meeting, added: “This proposal has been talked about for several years and it was great for members to have the chance to discuss and consider all the pros and cons involved.

“This was an outline application, effectively agreeing to the policy without looking at the specific details of design and so on – that will come later. I can assure you we will be seeking high-quality housing and developments to support our aspirations for growth in Thurrock.”

Assuming the application is not called in by the Secretary of State, further compulsory purchase orders could start in summer with a view to construction starting in summer 2014 and the first units being available a year later.

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