Saturday, April 1, 2023

Anger in Stanford at Wharf Road recommendations

“TOTALLY unacceptable” and “unfair” were words used by residents of Wharf Road, local councillor Shane Hebb and the Stanford Forum to describe the planning application report into recommending approval for ongoing lorry use from the Squibb’s site down at the Stanhope Industrial Estate.

Thurrock Council have now published its recommendations – due to be heard by the Planning Committee on Thursday 17th January – which include allowing HGV’s to use Wharf Road from 0600 and an increase in the amount of lorry movements. Another contentious point is the lack of commitment required of the applicant to make improvements to the Wharf Road road network; commonly known as Section 106 contributions.

The application site in Stanford-le-Hope houses a commercial concern, which completes concrete crushing and HGV storage. The only route of access is through Wharf Road, which is of semi-Victorian build, with house fronts at less than 2m from the road at some points.

Residents have made the point of significant vibration in properties close to the road, with one resident saying that her four year old son, on being woken in the small hours by an HGV is able to name the operator.

Local councillor Shane Hebb, and Chair of the Stanford Forum Terry Piccolo, met with the planning department to go through the report in detail.

In a joint statement: “This report is disappointing as it fails to grasp all the issues affecting residents. The 6am start is not in the public interest, especially when other sites all have planning consent to operate from only 7am. Body crash from moving vehicles is a significant noise which resonates over long distances – people must be allowed to have their windows open in the summer months. It’s a basic human right! This is one of the reasons we have a petition of nearly 500 people against this proposal.”

The planning recommendations insist on local authority access to the GPS tracking system that the applicant uses to monitor travelling speeds of vehicles leaving and entering the site. “We have been told that the system of monitoring vehicles is sophisticated and are satisfied with this condition”, say Cllr Hebb and Mr Piccolo.

One local resident notes that: “We can see that steps have been taken to mitigate the impact of abnormal loads down Wharf Road, by enforcing a condition where abnormal loads can only be moved during 1000-14:30, i.e. outside of school runs. We still believe that this is not the right road for excessively heavy vehicles however, and question how long the road infrastructure can take it”.

The planning application will be heard by Thurrock Council at the Planning Committee meeting at 1900, and will be heard by members of the Planning Committee, where the whole package of mitigation measures will be debated to determine if earlier starts and more vehicle movements will cause damage to the local amenity.

The committee recently approved an application at the same industrial site, for a trailer storage yard last Autumn. This application however was only approved with 7am starts, in contrast to the application due to be heard on Thursday 17th.


  1. Some residents feel that the council have totally ignored us 6am is not a reasonable time for these vehicles to be running past close to our houses.
    All the other businesses on Stanhope including a recent application have to adhere to 7am access, so what have Squibbs got to allow them 6am starts.
    We have to admit that Squibbs self imposed 20mph has cut down a lot of the noise from THEIR vehicles but any other HGV’s accessing or leaving their site are not held to this. Maybe it would be a good idea for the council to reduce the speed limit to 20mph for all vehicles down Wharf Rd, Corringham Rd and London road.

  2. Completely agree with the above comment!
    The strength of feeling amongst Wharf Road residents is very strong, as the council will be aware from the number of objections they have received. I personally find it hard to understand how Squibbs are being allowed a fair trial, after all, they have never stuck to the 7am starts so why are we even bothering going through this planning process anyway for the 6am starts (at the taxpayers expense might I add!) Squibbs have proven again and again that they are not willing to follow any restrictions, yet somehow they get away with it. Come on Thurrock Council…. WHAT IS GOING ON?!
    I also feel the residents deserve and explaination from the Council as to why the plans for the new access road, as per the Thurrock Masterplan, has been shelved. Especially when I understand that Squibb were willing to pay costs towards this. The new road is the only solution here, slowly legitimising Squibbs actions by giving retrospective planning permission is not the answer. The strength of feeling in this issue is so high now, this problem is NOT going to go away, please listen to the locals, we will NOT give up! The residents of Corringham Road and London Road are now starting to join with the residents of Wharf road, unless the Council step in and do something sensible, the protestors are just going to grow and grow.

  3. I would like to say that the planning hearing happened tonight and apparently Squibbs application has been refused…Go the residents of Wharf Road..and also looks like the Thurrock Council are at last considering their residents and not just the revenue this multi-million pound company supposedly brings to the area.

  4. I hope the post above is correct and permission has been refused. The trouble is Squibb tend to carry on regardless with their operations and ignore Thurrock Council. I totally agree with the post that said that an access road is the way ahead and would stop all of the traffic problems from Squibb and the numerous other companies which operate out of this site. Also agree that a 20mph speed limit should be imposed for all vehicles in the road, some of the other companies drive in a reckless manner and I have been “tailgated” for driving too slowly on several occasions.

  5. I have been reliably informed that the big low loader had Corringham road at a standstill this morning and there are photo’s to see. This company are nothing but bullies and its about time they were stopped. They should have the common decency to find themselves a yard near a main road where their access is free and clear. Surely with their supposedly millions their legal fees would be better spent on a different location.


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