Monday, March 27, 2023

Over 3,500 jobs as "Amazon" warehouse in Tilbury approved

UP to 3,500 permanent new jobs will be created by the building of a new warehouse in Thurrock, believed to be operated by retail giants Amazon.

The 200,000 sq m "sortation and fulfilment centre" on Port of Tilbury land adjacent to St Andrew’s Road, north of Gaylor Road and west of Dock Road in Tilbury

Members of Thurrock Council’s planning committee gave the green light to the plans, brought to the Council chamber by the Port of Tilbury and its development partners, Roxhill. Members heard the site was being designed for a specific client and though it wasn’t named, Your Thurrock believes it to be Amazon.

Staff at the site will work a staggered two shift system in what will virtually be a 24 hour operation.

Cllr Tunde Ojetola was worried about the impact of the venture on the air quality in Thurrock, already among the worst in the country. He said: "I am really concerned about the air quality but the proposal is to have tonnes of HGVs, including those waiting to get a parking space. How are their emissions being abated so that people in Tilbury and those accessing the site will have a better quality life."

He was told by planning officer Matthew Gallagher that there are no objections to the scheme from environmental health services, who have been involved in the lengthy planning process.

Tilbury councillor Steve Liddiard said: "It is absolutely essential that a pedestrian access is created to allow people to get to the nearby ASDA with the increased traffic."

Cllr John Kent said he was interested to know how the jobs would be filled and where the people would come from. He asked: "We are told this centre will employ 3,500 people in normal working and up to 4,300 at peak times. This means we are going to be bringing a lot people into the Borough, have there been discussions with Job Centre Plus and other agencies?" He also wanted to know if a travel plan for the staff was in place and received assurances from officers that both issues had been included in deliberations. Highways officer Nathan Drover said it was anticipated new bus services linking all parts of the Borough would be put in place.

The developer’s agent, Mr Martin Friend, told members the application before them was a huge milestone and a vote of confidence in Tilbury and the wider Thurrock area.

He added that the development would bring a £350,000 subsidy for the Gravesend to Tilbury ferry, a pedestrian link to ASDA and other pedestrian and cycle links, with more than £175,000 to improved regional cycle facilities.

Cllr Gerard Rice said: "This is a very exciting proposal, 3,500 jobs is not to be taken lightly and the Port if to be congratulated on the measures taken to control congestion. Tonight I am absolutely delighted."

Cllr Ojetola said: "With every planning application you have to balance its weight and benefit to the community with the adverse effects and I am taking the positives out of this." He suggested the opportunity for local members of the community to sit on a planned traffic management committee to ensure their concerns were taken account of.

Cllr Liddiard said: "I will get lots of moans about the size it, we will get some moans about the traffic and muck on the road during construction but we have to take a long term view and this will be amazing for Tilbury and the whole of Thurrock and I am really pleased about that."

Cllr John Kent said: "This is another vote of confidence in Thurrock" and he congratulated the Port of Tilbury.


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