PEOPLE power won the day at a Thurrock Council planning meeting last night (Jan 18) as an application that could have had far reaching consequences on Wharf Road, Stanford-le-Hope was turned down.
The evening began with the hardy but determined souls of the Wharf Road action group holding a silent protest outside the council offices.
The application was for “Retrospective application for the retention of the use of the land as a demolition contractors’ yard and waste recycling centre. Use of buildings as ancillary workshops and offices.”
But also part of the application, which officers had recommended for approval was:
“The applicants advise that they are seeking permission to operate from the application site between 06:00 and 19:00 hrs Monday to Saturdays and not at all on Sundays or Bank Holidays.”
It was the 6am application that the residents were objecting to and had gathered a petition with 426 signatures attached.
Council officers had noted that there was no alternative route for the lorries. An investigation into building a bridge had concluded that, that was unfeasible.
A number of questions were asked in relation to abnormal load movements and whether Squibb demolition had sought permission.
After a number of questions by Stanford East councillor, Phil Anderson it was established that on one particular occasion, an application had not been sent due to a “clerical error”.
The chair of Stanford Community Forum, Terry Piccolo spoke to the committee and cited World Health Organisation regulations, Article 8 of the Human Rights Act and a stated case from Valencia in promoting the concerns of the residents.
He was followed by the Stanford councillor, Shane Hebb, who castigated the applicants for failing to consult and cancelling a last minute meeting.
In turn, barrister Kevin Leigh spoke for the applicants. In his address, he made reference to evidence regarding environmental health.
Surprisingly, Thurrock Council’s Environmental Health Officer (EHO) was absent.
Mr Leigh also made reference to the quality of evidence in relation to road traffic collisions.
Chair of the committee, Terry Hipsey pointed out that this application was part of the local development framework and he expressed a view that many of the councillors should have expressed a view/concern then.
Cllr Hipsey was concerned that the council’s “hands may be tied” underlining why the council officers had recommended the application for approval.
Cllr Anderson commended a series of reasons to refuse the application that were based around damage to the damage to the amenities in the area and Wharf Road not being an accessible route.
It was agreed by all councillors bar cllr Hipsey who abstained.
As the celebrating residents left the building, YT asked Terry Piccolo for his reaction.