Friday, March 1, 2024

Stanford Tory claims hundreds against Billet land sale to East Thurrock United

PLANS to ‘dispose’ of a parcel of land in Stanford-le-Hope neighbouring The Crooked Billet Public House, took a step closer last week following a meeting which saw the incumbent Labour Cabinet agree with officer recommendations to the sale of the land for £340,000 for a new sporting use. Now that the sale has been agreed in principle, planning permission is the next hurdle for the redevelopment of the site.

Conservative councillor for Stanford West, Shane Hebb said “I asked the Labour Cabinet to consider deferring the decision to approve sale of Billet Field, Stanford-le-Hope, so we could ask the correct Overview & Scrutiny Committee to scrutinise the disposal recommendation before an executive sell-off decision. A large part of this was for the council to satisfy itself that all checks and balances have been observed in this asset disposal process to-date. There is significant local concern over this sale-off, and it needs addressing”.

However, the Labour Cabinet refused this request and have consented to the sale of the land pending planning permission being secured by the lead developer, East Thurrock United Football Club.

The Tory councillor is worried that local residents views are not being considered in enough detail: “There are massive concerns from the Stanford community, which have been made in representations of written form and via a petition of 184 local people”, notes Cllr Hebb.

“The questions people are asking are: a) is the cost / value to the taxpayer of asset disposal right; b) now we know about the covenant that once was, can we protect sporting usage of this parcel of land; and c) whether the public’s viewpoints have been adequately considered in this disposal plan.

“To say that the covenant was only ever in place for 10 years so isn’t a “material factor” goes to show how much Labour have misread the local feeling. If I have had one letter saying that local residents are against the sale, I’ve had a hundred. All they want is a voice in the matter”.

Drawing contrasts with the sale of King Street, Shane Hebb wants a more of a ‘two way, rather than a one way’ debate about strategic land sales.

“Residents deserve an opinion, and should be heard when there is one message of complete worry from the local community. The Sand Pits car-park was sold for pittance as part of the Labour’s Asset Disposal program and I do not want this land sold just to balance this council’s books. It is hard to convince residents that the council is taking their views seriously when their requests for more scrutiny are ignored”.

Applying for planning permission is likely to be the next step for the local football club who seek to relocate, whereby resident engagement in a planning application process is arguably easier than a land-disposal decision.

“We have two groups of passionate people who want to best for their local field – one being the local residents, the other being the football club. I hope to see a sound debate in the coming months about what merits this land sale could have, but most importantly, I want the people of Stanford to be given a forum to be listened to”, says Cllr Hebb. “It is only fair to do this for something so precious to the local area”.


  1. I would just ask that the Councillor takes a step back from getting dragged along by a campaign organised by a vociferous handful of his electorate, and bears in mind that he represents the WHOLE of his electorate. As far as I am aware, ETUFC have yet to give details of what they are planning to do to considerably improve the facilities there for the benefit of the local community, including the clubs already using the grounds.. Might I suggest that everyone refrains from jumping to the wrong conclusions until such time as ETUFC unveil their plans.

  2. Good point.

    The Council should delay the sale until plans become much clearer.

    It does seem odd that a sale of land is planned rather than a long lease, which would a) give the Club security of tenure and b) ensure that the land is used for the purpose intended rather than risk any future development which could be the detriment of the local community.

    £340K ia not such a large amount that it will have any significant impact on the Council’s finances. All very strange.

  3. GRAYSATH – you took the words out of my mouth. Lease the land to the club and squash fears of local residents that the site could be sold in the future for housing.

  4. Does make more sense to lease it to ETUFC. .. Would safeguard the club, and stop all the local talk about it being used by ETUFC for a few years, then sold off for a housing estate.

  5. It’s a pity that all the residents his claiming to talk for don’t know that Cllr Hebb didn’t even bother to turn up at the cabinet meeting to put their point of view across, if he would have turned up for this meeting he would have known that the Tories supported it , I suppose his doing a JDP desperate for votes in certain areas, so start to smear other members even your own group to bad Cllr Hebb didn’t check the votes out looks like Tories know their out,out,out

  6. Cllr Hebb must have memory loss because he was one of the Councillors that had his hand up the highest in a meeting last December to support the building of a hundred houses on East Thurrock football club. Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, and how can you stab your own group members in the back, I suppose Cllr Anderson and the other conservatives thought they was doing the best with the billet
    , like you did with the hundred houses Cllr Hebb or should I say pleb

  7. Ed who was the portfolio of education who help her friend queue jump the school waiting list, by getting her child in a local school by using her position as portfolio holder for education, read the 501 story there’s a blog regarding this

  8. Gerrard as usual you ask questions if I should know the answers. Instead of talking riddles write what you are talking about naming names, giving dates and giving a link to the blog you are talking about.

  9. In my opinion she is a foul mouthed chain smokin woman Ed who looks like meme at of shameless. Got it now

  10. Ed you just reminded me of that councillor that collects money I think he is Rob Gledhill, I think that’s how you spell his name you are hitting a little below the belt, I don’t have to elaborate you know pet, because you wouldn’t be trying to discredit me
    Happy Easter

  11. Shelley you still talk in riddles and I have no idea what you are going on about or how I am trying to discredit you? Please elaborate who on earth you are talking about and what they are supposed to have done and how it is related to the sale of land at Billet Lane?


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