TOP Thurrock councillors have agreed to a new plan to develop land it owns in Grays if a proposed sale continues to cause problems.
Cllr Lynn Worrall, portfolio holder for housing told Wednesday (11 March) evening’s meeting of the cabinet: “This report is asking for us to allow officers to take the action needed so the last industrial piece of Argent Street is removed, more new homes can be built, and people from Seabrooke can have easier access to the river.”
She explained: “The idea is to secure the re-development of the site and the metalworks and enable the metalworks to re-locate to a more suitable site.
“We have already agreed disposal of our part of the site as part of the Asset Management Plan, but attempts to negotiate the sale of the council’s land to the adjoining landowner have not been successful.
“To improve the disposal value and the chances of success, a formal pre-planning application for housing has been made.
“While we have been talking with the other parties the re-development here has become a key part of the Seabrooke Rise regeneration. Funding secured through the successful Additional Borrowing bid could allow us to undertake the development of the site – providing an alternative means of securing our objectives.”
Cllr Worrall said: “Timing is critical as this funding has to be spent within a very tight timescale and the current licence to the metalworks expires in August this year.
“Obviously, a way forward needs to be found and agreed with the metalworks before then.
“I can assure cabinet that every effort will be made to re-open negotiations with the landowner to speed disposal and re-development, but what we are agreeing tonight provides a back-up Plan B.”
A further report will be made to cabinet later in the year.