RESIDENTS of Little Thurrock now await the Secretary of State’s decision following the public inquiry into the inappropriate greenbelt development behind Malvern Road.
The occupiers of the site, who have been there since May last year, saw their application rejected by Thurrock Council Planning Inspectors in October 2013. Whilst the travellers pleaded with the Planning Inspector about the circumstances surrounding their encampment, Little Thurrock councillor, Rob Gledhill remained firm that the greenbelt is what makes Little Thurrock Rectory feel more of a large village than a small urbanised town.
Cllr Rob Gledhill, Leader of Thurrock Conservatives, said: ” I would like to thank all the residents who turned up and especially those who gave statements and were willing to be cross examined. But yet again we were presented with a last minute change to application, but they were still asking for 6 families to be able to occupy the greenbelt site for another 4 years. Residents and I still find it strange that the land isn’t in their name but they say they own it. We also feel the hearing was a little one sided as their agent wasn’t available for cross examination. It certainly appeared to me that their case rested more on their human rights than on planning legislation. Whilst they may be strong personal circumstances that the families believe mean they can live on the site, it is greenbelt and must be protected.”
The inquiry will now be written up, and then assessed by the Secretary of State, which could take a couple of months.
Little Thurrock Councillor, Tom Kelly, said: “This has been a lengthy process after delay after delay from the occupiers, and we are looking forward to hoping seeing a positive result for Little Thurrock greenbelt, and the residents who have put a lot of effort into helping us fight off this application.”