BOTH planning applications for markets in Corringham Town Centre were approved at Thurrock Council’s planning committee on Thursday night (March 14th).
First up was the application by the Outdoor Market Group (OMG) led by Robert Wong.
Mr Wong had made a number of amendments to his previously unsuccessful application. He had reduced the number of stalls from 24 to 16. The market was also going to run on a one-year trial basis for three days a week. Mr Wong also outlined the parking and other logistical plans in relation the market.
Speaking on behalf of the Corringham Traders and Residents, William Tilby told the committee that contrary to reports, Corringham Town Centre was doing well, with “only 3% of shops lying empty”.
Cllr Phil Smith spoke in support of the application but first made reference to the amount of “ill-feeling” created by the application.
Cllr Smith said: “We have seen a number of shops close down over the last year. Thomas Cook, Blockbusters, Alfords to name just a few.
“The OMG have taken on board a number of comments and resolved the parking and toilet issues.”
Councillors asked Mr Wong a number of questions on the application.
Cllr Charlie Curtis asked if Mr Wong would be willing to work with the “rival” application. Mr Wong said he would.
Cllr Curtis also had a swipe at the local traders saying. “You have let us down a bit with your surprise application. A rose in any other name..”
Cllr Barry Palmer said: “Corringham Town Centre seems to be a real success. Parking is at a premium already.”
The application was approved.
The committee moved on to the application for a monthly market by the Corringham Residents and Traders Association. Their proposal would see a market operating on the 1st and 3rd Thursday and Saturday of every month.
William Tilby spoke in support of the application and firstly corrected the committee, telling them it was a monthly event. He said:” In the spirit of the Corringham Fete and community forum. We have 74 members of the association.”
Cllr Martin Healy saw the positive side of both applications. He said: “There seems to be a real entrepreneurial spirit in the Corringham area that has to be commended.”
The applicqtion was approved.