By Local Democracy Reporter
A NEW development made up of almost 50 new homes along with shops and leisure activities could be coming to Thurrock.
The application to build a five-storey building made up of 47 flats and two retail or leisure units on the Town Centre Car Park on King Street has been recommended for approval by planning officers.
Of the 47 flats, 16 will be regarded as “affordable” and the car park will provide one space per flat. Another 43 spaces will remain available to the public, a reduction from 76.
A derelict commercial building that occupies part of the site on the corner of King Street and High Street would be demolished as part of the development.
Officers wrote in a council report: “It is considered that the proposed development would assist in the regeneration of the town centre by creating new residential accommodation, new commercial floorspace and the removal of derelict buildings.”
However, neighbours have complained that the development would be a “complete eyesore” and the loss of parking would cause shops to close due to the lack of spaces. Another concern is that the town is overcrowded and there are no doctors, dentists or schools available.
The council received 35 objections and just one letter of support, which praised the development for creating jobs and improving a site they claim has become a “magnet for antisocial behaviour”.
Near to the site is the Church of St Margaret of Antiocha, a Grade I listed building. Concerns have been raised by the council over about the potential impact this new building could have on the views of the site but planning officers said the benefits outweigh the harm.
The report states: “The applicant has argued that the development would be beneficial to the town centre because it would provide new residential accommodation including 35 percent affordable housing provision in the urban area, new commercial units, public realm improvements and the regeneration of derelict buildings.
“On balance, it is considered that the benefits of the scheme would outweigh the ‘less than substantial harm’ impact upon the listed church.”
Councillors will decide whether to grant planning permission during a meeting on Thursday.