Friday, June 21, 2024

Council growth strategy delayed again

CHANGES to the government’s planning policies has meant Thurrock Council has to review its Core Strategy, planning portfolio holder Cllr Andy Smith told the council’s cabinet on Wednesday (12 February).

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Smith explained: “The Core Strategy has a key role to play in supporting growth and regeneration and the determination of all planning applications.

“A review of the strategy is now required following recent changes in government planning policy and to drive forward our vision and ambitious growth agenda for the borough.”

He said that so far the Core Strategy has been helped bring forward proposals for the creation of over 30,000 new jobs and £2.6 billion of new investment in Thurrock’s five regeneration hubs – together with the development of a sixth at the Thames Enterprise Park.

Cllr Smith added: “The review will accelerate the growing momentum behind the regeneration of Thurrock ensuring that development opportunities and infrastructure are available in the right place at the right time.

“It will make the most of proposed improvements to Thurrock’s strategic accessibility and act as a focus for growth across the wider Thames Gateway South Essex area.”

Cllr Smith stressed the need for a review did not mean the strategy was “broken”; – it simply “requires up-dating to build upon the enormous growth potential and opportunities being delivered under the current strategy”.

He said: “Until its replacement the Core Strategy will remain in place and play a crucial role in maintaining investor confidence and economic growth in Thurrock as recently demonstrated the recent planning permissions for £230 million of new retail and leisure floorspace at Lakeside.”

To speed up the process of preparing the new local plan, work already undertaken in preparing the Site Allocations Local Plan and the Focused Review of the Core Strategy Broad Locations and Strategic Sites will automatically be “rolled into the production of the new Local Plan”.


  1. At its meeting on the 10th December 2013, Cabinet considered a report on the Thurrock Annual Monitoring Report of the Local Development Framework. This monitors the extent to which policies set out in the Core Strategy are being achieved. In relation to new housing development over the ten-year period 2001-2012 the average annual provision of new housing in Thurrock has been 498 units. The annual build rate achieved throughout the period has varied considerably from a peak of 1,167 in 2004/5 to a low of 88 in 2009/10. Taking completions into account, a further 17,270 units still need to built by 2026 in order to meet the adopted Core Strategy’s housing target. This equates to an annual build rate of 1,328 units per annum, considerably higher than the average annual build rate currently being achieved (498) and the 2004/5 peak of 1,167. This leaves Thurrock with one of the highest required delivery rates in the South East and the East of England (second only to Milton Keynes).

    Thurrock Core Strategy Position Statement And Approval For The Preparation Of A New Local Plan For Thurrock

    12 February 2014

    So Thurrock is the second worst offender in the south-east and the East of England in achieving housing for its residents, and we have Council members still reluctant to give permission at any cost to solve this problem after being repeatedly told of the requirements, the facts of the matter are that Thurrock needs to be less particular in where placing housing developments, and at the moment they are not even treading water, and falling further behind on a daily basis
    The figures speak for themselves 88 units built in 2009 perhaps we need a new portfolio holder for planning councillor Smith is looking rather tired, perhaps somebody, more farsighted with a different outlook, and planning officers who are a bit more up to date in their thinking and are more attuned to the needs of residents

  2. Interesting that you pointed out the 88 builds of 2009-10. That figure first came up (I believe) in the Inquiry re Butts Lane.
    A lot of people could not believe it.
    We spoke to a senior Labour figure and they disputed the figure…….

  3. 12 February 2014 ITEM: 19
    Thurrock Core Strategy Position Statement And Approval For The Preparation Of A New Local Plan For Thurrock

    1. The information came from the Cabinet meeting last night and was the last item on the agenda

  4. Developers will build houses when they know they can sell. Why build houses if they will sit empty and unsold for years and years. The housing market will dictate house building in Thurrock not more expensively produced glossy report and hot air from Councillors.

  5. Cllr Smith I believe should step aside, he looks tired, I think it would assist him if a senior labour member could step in and take control of the portfolio, in his time of life Councillor smith should take it easy, not be worrying about 23.000 houses poor man has gave enough of his time when he was leader, Cllr Kent should step in and remove him of this tiring obligation,


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