A PRIMARY school and other similar projects would be created early in the billion pound Purfleet project, top Thurrock councillors have been told.
Cllr Richard Speight – the portfolio holder for regeneration – was speaking on Wednesday (14 October) evening about the Purfleet Centre plans.
Members agreed the details of a scheme which will be the basis for contract agreements between the council and Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited (PCRL), which is developing the scheme.
PCRL has brought in London & Quadrant Housing Trust (L&Q) as a funder to kick-start the project’s delivery.
Cllr Speight explained the council’s largest regeneration scheme would deliver “2,300 new homes, a town centre featuring a new rail station, a primary school, health centre and local retail” as well as “an enormous film and television studio”.
He said: “This is expertise that they will bring to bear on this project. In Purfleet, as in other areas of the borough, we want to build place, not just houses.”
When asked whether infrastructure plans – like the primary school – would be created early in the scheme he said the council and its partners had worked closely on achieving just that.
And Leader of the Council, Cllr John Kent explained that unusually, the developer PCRL had been invited by Thurrock to join a cross-party group of councillors interviewing potential school sponsors – a group which had already put recommendations to the government.
Cllr Speight said that although “there was still an awful lot of work to do”, as well as work on the school, the council was continuing “discussions with health colleagues on the needs of the existing community”.
He added: “It is important we maintain our focus on these services to ensure that we do not repeat some of the issues of the past where the services haven’t come along in time to support population growth.
“Ultimately this scheme is a benchmark for what an active and engaged council can achieve, making good use of our assets, generating a return to the council, but providing housing and services where they are needed.”
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Speight, said: “PCRL’s success in bringing L&Q in as a funder should be considered a hugely positive step. Together with the support of the council, this funding will ultimately make the scheme happen.
“L&Q – together with Ken Dytor, chief executive of PCRL – are known across the property sector for having huge experience in place-making and integrating services with housing to create genuinely sustainable communities that people want to live in.”