THURROCK Councillors are being asked to approve a scheme which will speed the development of the most modern port in the world on the banks of the Thames.
On Monday (4 November) members will be asked to support the Proposed London Gateway Logistics Park: Making of Local Development Order – postponed from the full October meeting of the council.
Negotiations between the council and owners had gone on until after 5pm on the night of the meeting, not enough time to allow councillors to take in the full scope of the proposal.
Now a special meeting of the council will be held on 4 November at 7.30pm.
The council’s regeneration portfolio holder, Cllr Andy Smith, said: “Effectively this is the starting gun for the London Gateway port. It encompasses a huge range of issues, including speeding up the planning process and money towards road improvements, while at the same time enabling Thurrock Council to have a full oversight of what’s going on.
“Once the council approves this order, the port will be able to encourage more organisations to follow Marks & Spencer; M&S themselves will be able to put forward their detailed proposals; and the new jobs will start to come.
“But it’s more than about jobs and money. This development is leading the world with container ports across the globe – let alone just in this country – watching closely and preparing their own futures along similar lines.
“Once again the borough motto, Along the Thames to all the peoples of the world is an excellent reflection of Thurrock’s success.
“But this doesn’t mean local people will have to suffer. We have been negotiating very closely with the port’s management; we have secured many millions towards A13 improvements; we will receive £1.45 for every single square metre of warehousing floor-space on the site; and we will receive funding each time a new berth is opened.
“An overall travel plan has also been agreed following four weeks of consultation. It includes measures to reduce the impact on local communities and on the highway network. It encourages greater use of sustainable transport, minimising road movements – particularly during peak periods – and reducing local traffic impacts.
“In addition we have secured agreement on a wide range of travel planning measures; there will be targets and action will be taken before certain defined triggers; we have funding to help counter any local residential issues arising from rat-running; funding for a Travel Plan Committee; and funding for a Travel Plan Co-ordinator and Travel Plans for each warehouse occupier.”
Cllr Smith added: “This is a wide-ranging agreement, taking into account such things as permanent training facilities, apprenticeships and other local employment measures.
“We have negotiated hard; members have been closely involved and I am confident council will support the scheme next Monday evening, securing the biggest foundation stone for Thurrock’s bright, new look and top quality future.”