"Piecemeal" planning application in South Ockendon slammed by councillor

A THURROCK planning councillor has blasted housing developers for trying to add things to approved planning applications to get more profit out of their projects.

During a debate on a submission by the developer behind ongoing work to build seven new homes at Kemps Farm on Dennis Road, South Ockendon, Cllr Brian Little – a former deputy chairman of the authority’s planning committee, rounded on applicant Kieran McCormack over a bid to add more rooms to the approved designs.

Permission for the homes was approved last year, amid some controversy, but in the end planners allowed the buildings despite them being in the greenbelt. However they wanted the buildings to be single storey to minimise impact.

In fact one of the reasons the scheme won approval was because there are so few bungalows available in the Borough. Work has started on the site but at last Thursday’s planning meeting the builders came back and asked for permission to add extra rooms in the loftspace of five of the homes.

Councillors were advised that their officers had considered the latest application carefully and felt they would be unable to oppose the application.

That didn’t stop councillors being critical of the developers, with Cllr Tunde Ojetola accusing them of ‘piecemeal’ planning and that when the original permission was given councillors had a ‘picture in mind’ based on the information submitted at the time.

Cllr Little went further and delivered a broadside at developers, saying: “I get fed up sitting here listening to the same applications. Once you have submitted an application and got it approved, don’t keep coming back here.”

However, at the end of the debate on Kemps Farm, councillors felt they had little option but to back their officers’ recommendation and the scheme was approved.

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